Judge not: Ten for Today


“I love your cute, little ass,” he always says, and every time he does, I guffaw, snort or giggle just a little. Not a tee hee, coy, embarrassed or flattered giggle either. It’s more disbelieving and cynical than that–way more.
 
Both parents at one time or another measured asses in the family. “Poor Pam. She has no ass,” I’ve heard my father say on more than one occasion. “Not like her sisters.” Nope, I’d silently always confirm the criticism because I’ve heard my mother respond to his remark with, “She has my ass, and I got my mother’s flat ass.”
 
I used to joke to people (still do) that I come from a long line of flat asses. I’d see body type illustrations, animated or real life, of the body labels “pear shape” or “spoon” in Cosmo or some other rag. Spoon, definitely spoon. Spoon has a long torso and convex posture–with a flat ass. Yep, spoon.
 
In my youth and young adulthood (the time when they could get away with that kind of crap), people would comment on my height. “Oh, she’s tall,” they’d say to my mom. “Yes, she takes after her 6’4″ father.” And the first time I met my mother in law at her suburban flat in Garches, just outside Paris, the first words she spoke upon seeing me were, “Elle est grande!” (She’s tall). France is short.
 
I’m 5’8″. I look up to meet the eyes of my 5’11” daughter. She’s tall, relative to other American women. I’m tall relative to the French. And all of this parceling of parts into categories to somehow order ourselves, well, I discouraged it raising my own children.
 
I explained to them how labeling others by body shape, color or size objectified people (in terms they could understand, of course). The brainwashing took, and now they berate my father, who habitually points to people’s fat, skinny, ugly, hairy, bow-legged, shapely, old, young, black, white, “oriental” (and more) selves.
 
More than PC, the de-labeling gives people a chance. It’s lazy and disinterested to sum people up by their parts. You can make snap judgments if you know their “type.” “Oh, she’s insecure and doesn’t date because she’s taller than most guys her age,” I’ve heard tell of my own daughter. And I still carry scars from those who–a la Trump–rated my body parts, a profiling which I swallowed as fact.
 
I know better now. The force-fed, culturally-created body ideals against which others (and I) measured myself bullshitted me for too long. My ass may be flat, cute, small, just right to onlookers. Bottom line (yep, I did that), I couldn’t s(h)it without it. Judge that.
 

Credit: spoon-silverware: pixabay

I got the last order of halibut tacos: ten for today

July 19, 2016
 
I’m having trouble. I stayed up too late and ruined my sleep. Those sleep-deprived days hit hardest, most difficult to bear. The world seems scary, like one giant acid trip gone wrong that I cannot come down from, no matter how much I talk myself through it. My feet feel as if I am walking in the bounce house.
 
Morning came too quickly, the doors opening and closing to my bedroom. Communal showers suck. I worked late into the night fixing my article for the new French client, only to awaken to stern reprimand from someone half my age, probably. I did not follow directions, too worried about meeting deadline and not the specifics. Certainly my fault but can we just treat each other kindly? Even editors?
 
Hard pressed to inhabit the Zen of it all, I fought all morning with myself. “This is the life of a writer. This is life. Don’t be afraid of rejection, judgment and criticism.” I had to keep myself from diving over the cliff of “I fucked up.” Forgiveness.
 
My nerves still sore, I taught class, guilty that I wasn’t fresh, alert and sharp, but that turned out to be a lie I told myself. The class discussion meandered through colonialism, prejudice, Black Lives Matter, censorship, profanity, the sub-prime mortgage debacle, the abc’s of finance, medicine, medico-legal ethics, euthanasia, and stories, lots of anecdotes, for a breezy four and a half hours. At least it seemed that way. Summer school. Beautiful students.
 
Rounding out nicely with a particularly grapefruit citrus-tinged IPA and halibut tacos ordered at my local hangout–family members all working (except for dad glued to the t.v.)–this day wanes okay, citing my own research on French proverbs (my maybe rejected assignment)–apres la pluie, le beau temps (Every cloud has a silver lining). I’m about to chomp down on my halibut tacos silver lining. Cheers and Bon appetit! 

If I were your eyes…

  
I’d find more than the prize to keep myself on

or the road

if I were your eyes.

If I saw what you saw, 

I’d be wary too, 

wondering what next, who else wants what I have, 

what I need to protect.

Gazing out from yours, 

the world would be clear,

hindsight perfection,

for mistakes are costly and pre-calculations wise. 

Peering from under your nose,

I’d assess what’s what,

figure people out,

know their numbers,

predictive labels paying off in fearless dividends.

And if I stared at your desire,

the way you do,

square in her face,

laser cutting pupils

penetrated retinal heart,

a mirror reflection I’d see chestnut fire burning me.

 

Dualities not Duels

 
 

“Again, you know I don’t judge; I respect your relationship. I’m never here to tear you or J down. Who am I to do more than put myself in your place–even as I am merely me–and wonder? That’s all. I imagine your life in my body and mind. It does not work that way, but I cannot help but do it. You know I love you.”

“I do.” ((hugs))

“Drink up. I have to go back to work.”

While driving back to work, my thoughts cycle. 

“The shape of our relationships doesn’t differ much–this duality that appears like incompatability to those on the outside.”

You and I, you see, are so different, from such different worlds, you the straight and me the curvy, you the narrow and me the expansive. You like yours and I prefer mine. You know you’re right and I constantly doubt. To you, absolutes are real. To me, most everything is relative to time, place, and circumstance. You see global, while I see local, though sometimes we switch sides, me going long term and you going short. In the ven diagram, we intersect at the sliver overlap of our two circles. We meet in a horizontal world without borders, boxed and invisible, dimmed before each other, not in full light. Perhaps we must, or see the impossibility of us and kill the thrill. And yet, that divide, that delusion of polarity, opposition and contrariness keeps us interested, coming back for more. N’est ce pas?



 

credit: http://www.intermissionbristol.co.uk