In off-white stained briefs he scratches himself
out the front of the half-way house
as the girls giggle by, stomachs stacked with shots,
he watches them pull up every windscreen wiper
to the sky, leaving all the cars paused in prayer,
their hoods shining in the dewy early hours
One of the girls squats behind a car
rolling up her tight red dress to pee.
The man picks up a ukulele, hisses
“Excuse me, some people are trying to sleep!”
before humming Thunderstruck and plucking
the only remaining string.
This post will be split into two parts because it deals with two different but loosely connected things.
When I was religious I didn’t swear much. Well I occasionally said ‘shit’ but mostly just stuck to the fat-free cuss words like ‘crap’. I was so strict with myself that if I even thought the word ‘fuck’ I’d feel guilty for hours afterwards (I wish I was kidding). But I certainly didn’t even go near the C-bomb. No way, nuh-ah. Too sinful. All the soap in the world wouldn’t wash out that sucker. So here’s my story…
Upon my conscious bitter as betrayal uncoupling from religion I ended my cuss diet and binged. My brain stuffed as many cuss words into my mouth as possible. I said shit and fuck in every sentence and called people dicks (under my breath) but I never could bring myself to drop the C-bomb. In my mind it was a painful word that I’d first heard used in spite. It was classed as the worst of the worst. To call someone a cunt was to insult them in one of the nastiest ways possible (unless you’re a particularly laid back Australian teenager then it’s what you call your mates, but I didn’t know that yet, I was more sheltered than a wombat in a burrow. Yes, I really just typed that).
But soon I became daring. I’ve been told that I look innocent, so I began to say it for effect. Then I began to think about it. Why is ‘cunt’ such a bad word? Why does a euphemism for vagina have to be classed as the worst of the worst? Why is the worst thing a person can be stand in for a female body part? Now I’m not going to go into the politics of it here, others have done that and a hell of a lot better than I could. I’m just saying that I consciously thought about why it was that I didn’t say ‘cunt’. Then I began to say it in my head to try and get rid of the negative connotations associated with it. I said it under my breath. I thought it about the middle-aged woman talking loudly in the quiet carriage. I sang it in my head to the tune of Diamonds by Rihanna. “Shine bright like a cunt face… shine bright like a cunt face…” Ok, so that last part’s a lie, but it improves the song somewhat, no?
So what do I do about it now? I still only say it for effect. It’s still considered by many as the worst of the worst and despite my protests I still haven’t quite gotten over the way it sounds in my mouth. Perhaps I never will, but I’m trying. For now I engage in crafty slactivism. By which I mean I stitch ‘cunt’ onto fabric and frame it. We all have our small rebellions. I’m changing the face of society, one stitch at a time. I’m sure society’s views on what is deemed offensive will change based on one woman’s Sunday afternoon craft project. Give it time.
Now this wasn’t an isolated binge. After my uncoupling I went through a spiritual crisis (surprise! I’m still there! Woo! Fun times! – that’s a story for another post), in that I no longer felt spiritual at all. I went from deeply religious to believing in nothing. Not even myself. I didn’t feel connected to anything. When I was religious I would go out into nature and feel this deep and profound connection to god and to the earth. It was euphoric, I used to feel almost high on the country air (later I found out that this wasn’t a connection to god, it was a connection to untreated mental illness. Yay! Woo! Fun times!). After I started taking medication, all connection to god left me and I instantly didn’t believe anymore. It hit me like a train. I felt like my upbringing had been a lie. A hurtful scam designed to make me feel less powerful as a woman, guilty about sexuality, and oh I dunno, guilty about everything else on the planet. I became bitter against Christianity and binged on all the ‘bad’ things. By which I mean I purposely littered, I didn’t hold the door for people, and I called rude customers bitches (under my breath). Did I mention I was a little strict with myself? These things felt like acts of rebellion to me. I felt powerful. I felt how Snoop Dogg (Snoop Lion? Whatever he calls himself now) must have felt smoking marijuana at the MTV awards. I felt smug as fuck. I was sinning and there wasn’t a god in the world to stop me.
So where does that leave me now? I don’t know, cunts, crouched in some dirty alley way tossing Cadbury wrappers on the ground (no I’m not, don’t litter kids, it’s bad for the environment). Still bitter, I suppose. I still can’t bring myself to stand in a church and nature just makes me sad at the loss of connectedness to the environment. But we all have our things to work on. On another day I’ll go into the story a bit more if you’d like to hear it, but for now, let’s lighten the mood with more arty fun times.
So my lovely cunts, what’s your small act of rebellion?
I have a new bookcase. It’s chocolate coloured, tall, and begging for books. The walls of my room are freckled with mold that looks to be making a home for itself (the joys of living in an old damp apartment), so I’m frantically moving all my prized books out of its reach. As it is with these things, I couldn’t help but read some of them.
Now it’s late (or early) and I’ve had my nose in some pages by the likes of John Tranter, John Forbes, and August Kleinzahler. So now I’m messing around with words. Here are some I prepared earlier.
Coral lipped, she had her tongue split
down the middle, now she talks strange
She likes to stick it out at small children
declaring that she never saw herself as a
concentrating on the red man, he changes
green and we walk to the movies, she hates
romantic comedies and so do I, so we catch
some Nicolas Cage disaster. We’re not there
for the popcorn.
In the park in the early hours she hands me
a can of Coke, we do the whole look
at the stars and contemplate our lives shit. She feels
Athena is misunderstood – her manager – not the goddess
she tells me, though the goddess has a right to be mad too, if you ask her, which I didn’t, but to watch her is heaven and the night’s too cold for me to move.
I think the ending is a bit too weak. But I’m still mulling over what to replace it with. Maybe a detail about the other persona? I don’t know, it’s kind of her show, so… I’ll have to think on it some more.
Wild Saturday night/Sunday morning alone at the keys. I know what you’re thinking, “how does she maintain her extravagant lifestyle?”. Coffee and meds, my friends, coffee and meds.
As you are about to see, Diablo Cody is a badass. If you need more than that in order to click the little triangle then: Diablo Cody is important because she shows us creatives the value of writing the stories our parents warned us about.
FYI, the level of stupidity displayed in my titles is directly proportionate to how much sleep I’ve had. You’re all doomed.
First thing’s first. Congratulations to my American followers on #Obama2012.
I can’t help wondering how MENA/Asia/any-where-else-in-the-world feels about both the outcome and the fact that the west never seems to pay as much attention to their elections as they do to the American ones.
I’m not really sure if you win anything but hey, you can submit your 500 word masterpiece and feel chuffed when they feature it on their website. And this early in the morning that’s good enough for me.
Plus there’s a picture of someone in plaid looking shocked. You know that’s a good sign. November’s theme is Someone who shaped me. So get to it minions!