Flashbacks

Of Mice and Men.

–sits in his lap, wondering, “Is that a penis or a pistol?”
And exactly what is the difference?
She screams, “Murder me. I’m telling you to murder me.”
If she begged for it, is it still a crime?
Can you still be blamed, Mr. Humbert?

– Lolita’s Revenge, by Twoey Gray


11.12 p.m.

I told myself that I would sleep early tonight. Didn’t want to give my brain reason to be picking at the seams, but I know that even if I switch off all the lights, lay down under the shroud of my bedsheets,

I will still see their eyes, gleaming in the dark.

These eyes know no boundaries. They roam where they want, and I am powerless to stop them no matter how many times I tell myself that my body is mine

my body is mine

my body is mine.


I saw that patient again today in Ward 3D, Bed 12. The same one that wouldn’t stop staring at the curve of fabric around my breasts as I asked him questions about the hospital’s service quality four months ago; the same one that looked into my eyes and said, “I’ll see you again soon.”

The same one I saw being wheeled in through the corridors, three months back.

The one whose name I on the discharge list, two months ago.

The same man I saw, again, two weeks back.

Today. Again.

Same eyes. Burning with intensity and intent.

I know I am being hunted.

I’ve been avoiding that section of the ward. Guilt has nested in my bones, and I am ashamed that I’ve allowed my fear to override my work. I try to tell myself that because I’m an unpaid intern, it doesn’t matter. Everything ends next Wednesday; it doesn’t matter. I’d never have to deal with another patient again.

But explain how I was merely straightening my back at the train station today, and how yet another pair of eyes was stuck to my breasts.

In spite of everything I still feel the urge to clarify that I was in jeans and a top – I don’t know how much less revealing I can be in Singapore’s weather – but let’s face it.

This isn’t about what I wear.

It’s about – literally- not being given the space to stretch and breathe without attracting attention. Funny, I swear it’s almost like a metaphor for girls who try to stand tall, stand firm…


Tell me I’m not crazy.

I’ve been reading and watching poetry slams, trying to find a piece of myself amongst other tortured souls, hoping that a simple URL will be able to encompass a smidgen of my being to be passed along to the men I love.

Somewhere in the back of my mind is a warning drum that they,

humans with penises

sinewy, strong arms with the power to control, to hurt, to break and

a pair of eyes — ?

They will respond with pity. Brush it off with statements of “she’s being too emotional again” or “triggered lol” or “don’t worry so much” or “you’re thinking too much” or

why is it so hard to live?

23 years of having a body and I still don’t have a clue what to do with it.


I call these things “gender issues” for simplicity.

And it’s not too different when you consider how my body feels like it is the centre of the universe, spread-eagled, an open invitation for them to roam.

Fat showing over jeans

or tall for a girl

or she has a nice face but is bottom heavy

or strip it;

suckle on it,

finger/fuck it in the ass, mouth, pussy, cum on its breasts, in its eyes, on its hair, inside it, make it squirt, choke it, make it scream, cry, beg, gag,

Real-life women, as four-dimensional porn.

I tried to remove the “woman” by replacing curvature with stubborn flatness. In place of lust I now see quizzical stares at the emptiness, the space of what should be.

This still does not sound like my body is mine.

Pull on a “men’s shirt” and bermudas; call it being agender. ENBY. Non-binary.

It still does not sound like my body is mine.

It sounds like I am trying to escape reality of a being woman. But is it the reality, or is it a reality that has been foisted upon me? Do I really have a say in these things?


12.03 a.m.

I am surprised I still have men I love.

There was once that I interlocked hands with a girl and walked down the streets, smiling. I remember thinking, this must be what it’s like to love without the involvement nor enjoyment of men.

\

Tell me I’m not crazy.

I recount the way my boyfriend told me I was an activist, even when I firmly rejected that label. But you are, he insisted. Society thinks you are, and you fit into the definition, so even if you don’t see yourself that way…

Brain says, “I told you he wouldn’t understand.”

Flashback – mental audio recording of one of my closest girl friends saying, “Men. They’re like that.”

I want to know if people think I am a feminist.

I want to know if they think I am crazy — off-centre, “ting tong”, “kee siao” — just for having dysthymia and/or borderline personality disorder and/or ADHD. And if they say so, am I so?

.

I refuse.

.

Dismay, at how political (my) love has become, yes

but what do I mean?

My very existence is grounded in politics — this entire business of being polyamorous, bi/pansexual, agender/ENBY/non-binary with dysthymia is all about fighting for freedom of expression, identity, validity, authenticity…

 

/

,.leave me be.


My body is a haunted house that I am lost in. 

There are no doors but there are knives and a hundred windows.

or My body has apologized to my body.

My body is not sure if it accepts.

or I am trapped behind eyes that recognize the demon in everything.

or There is a demon in everything; I know this.

– Bipolar Is Bored And Renames Itself, by Jacqui Germain

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