Let’s talk a little about social interactions, shall we?
I used to be the most polite doormat you had ever met. A stranger could intentionally hockey-night-in-Canada body check me in a wide hallway and I would be the one to apologize. I know, I’m a sucker for pain. I’ve finally been able to gain some volume when it comes to finding my own voice, however; I’m more likely to send a sandwich back in a restaurant if it’s obviously not made to order (I take Burger King’s motto very SERIOUSLY) or give an old lady a tongue thrashing because she cut me in the Safeway line. I mean, who do these 90 year olds think they are anyway? But where is the limit? How far can I go?
It seems that “Other People” have quite a bit of leeway when it comes to making their sentiments known-like the older guy who pressed his pasty middle finger to the window as he sped past me in the street, or the VERY old, even pastier man who accosted me in the No Frills parking lot for parking a SMIDGE over the yellow line; he felt an appropriate comment was to tell me to go back to my country. Snort.
Now that I’m looking at these experiences, I’ve come to two conclusions:
1. I probably shouldn’t be allowed to drive and
2. I have a curious and detrimental attraction to wrinkly white men.
wait…let me get back to the point.
When, and for what reason, were we so silenced? And when I say “we”, I don’t mean just women, I refer to us humans. (I know what you’re thinking and I promise I’ll do another post on extraterrestrial rights, but one thing at a time, ok?)
We have been taught to gulp down our emotions and convictions (such hard pills to swallow) until our bellies swell and we have such bad constipation that nothing short of a divine charcoal enema can release us of our festering sentiments. Happy is ok, joy is even better; nobody quells laughter because it has “gone on too long”, or stifles elation because it has “gone too far”. But what of anger? Sadness? Disappointment? Pissoffedness? These are bad , ugly bugs that need to be squashed, exterminated before they even emerge from behind the dusty stove. Speaking of appliances…
There are other areas of ME that form the home in which I dwell, such as that one room in the basement. Nobody wants to go “down there”, yet it is still “there”. It hosts spiders and their webs, a few ancient boxes filled with forgotten papers, and a grey mouse that nibbles at the floorboards and drywall, providing a nostalgic rhythm of nibbles on otherwise starkly quiet nights.
My teeny tiny bathroom has a perpetual dripping faucet and smells like vanilla potpourri. And the familiar scent of urine.
The dark hallways with creaky floors, full of crumbs; the walls with hand prints, scuffs, even a hole or two. That one light fixture that will NEVER get a fresh light bulb because it is just too far out of reach. Too far, and out of reach.
Alas, my bedroom. The central part of the house where everything begins and ends-a solace, a prison, a cave and a 5-star resort. Where secrets are kept, and revealed, where pleasure happens, followed by pain, where sleep happens succeeded by many. sleepless. nights.
These four walls have echoed with angry shouts and opera arias; trembled from slammed doors and the moans of child birth. Only the off-white walls know of the desperate sobs and manic supplications. Only they know. They know. And I find comfort in that.