Three womanish moments.Posted: December 22, 2016
The first time I was with my partner after the election, I started crying. I couldn’t stop the flood of intrusive thoughts: Trump raping Ivana. Trump shoving Natasha Stoynoff against the wall. Trump raping a 13-year-old girl. I didn’t know how to be sexual anymore. Not when a rapist was the most powerful man in the world.
My partner listened to me. He was understanding and loving and patient. Later, I watched him sleeping and said to myself, Let this be my first act of resistance: I will not let that man come between us. He is no longer permitted here.
One afternoon after Thanksgiving, I was making broth out of the turkey bones that my sister had given me. Just put it all in water and boil it for a whole afternoon, she said, so I picked out the pieces and dropped them into the pot, one by one, and there was light on my arms and hands, which always surprises me now. I’m surprised there’s still beauty in the world at all. I wondered if Trump had ever done this, the simple loving of oneself by making one’s own food in the afternoon sunlight, boiling, stirring, draining, and saving the broth for a day in the future, when one can chop vegetables and make a good winter soup. My heart was so calm. I wonder if his heart has ever been like that, and not a fist of static, a permanent hell.
At the gym last week, I chose an elliptical machine that didn’t face the news channels. Instead, I gazed at a muted show about three foster teenagers who want to start a girl group. They audition at a club, but no one pays attention; a sultry older woman convinces them to perform at a strip club, instead, where the “real managers” are. The main character strips down and struts for the watching men, and her body is the particular kind of ultraskinny that is the only kind allowed on television, and then I flashed back to Hillary Clinton stepping out at the Convention in a white suit and me crying because finally, finally, a woman was the center of adulation because of her mind, not her body.
I had to get off the elliptical and go into the empty room of spin bikes where there was only me and my reflection in the glass.
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