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Live And Learn by Ray Printer Friendly

You learn things as you fumble through life, you know? You learn stuff about the world youíre fumbling through and you learn things about yourself. Like this: did you know you can kill a man with an aluminum foil box? Maybe you canít.

I can.

You learn things.

One of the first things I remember learning is about my period. You kind of know whatís coming, but the first time you go to the bathroom and the toilet waterís red instead of clear or yellow? You learn how to deal with that, with your body dumping blood for a week.

You learn how to apply mascara so you look hot instead of like a whore. You learn the alphabet, you learn that blowjob doesnít mean exactly what you think it does, you learn long division. You learn how to drive and how to park.

You learn things.

You learn how to enroll in college, you learn how to make a rťsumť, you learn how to hunt for a job, how to land a job, how to keep a job.

Every day, you learn something new, whether you realize it or not. You learn about a new coffee place, or you learn about how your coworker acts when he thinks his wife is cheating on him, or you learn about the Higgins account, and how you really detest having to try to coordinate with the West Coast division.

You learn that you can kill a man with an aluminum foil box.

You learn that you donít have to be doing anything wrong for the world to fuck with you. Go to a bar with a couple of your girlfriends after work, just a drink or two, though, because you still have to deal with those West Coast assholes more tomorrow, and the last thing you need in that situation is a hangover.

Walking home, itís not even that far, and itís not even that dark out, or scary out. Itís just a night, you know? Just some night like always.

You go through life, you learn that all those ordinary nights, thereís something bad happening somewhere. You learn that sometimes they happen to you.

Heís there, with his breath that smells like Wrigleyís Doublemint and Scotch. You learn that sometimes monsters drink expensive liquor and wear expensive suits. You learn that sometimes they come out of nowhere and they donít care that youíre a nice person or that you have a boyfriend or that please, please, just donít hurt me.

You learn that a guy can be incredibly drunk and still find your panties under your skirt. You learn what it feels like when he snags a couple of pubic hairs along with the panties, and you learn that you donít want your last thoughts to be about how you should have shaved.

You learn what it sounds like when your head hits the concrete, and itís like nothing you ever imagined, nothing like the sounds in the movies.

His hand tight around your neck, you know? Fumbling with his pants with one hand, choking me with another.

You go through life, you learn things. Like how you deal in high-stress situations. Emergencies. Life and death situations, you could say.

Donít even ask where your purse isódropped or kicked out of the way. Somewhere. The ring of keys, the can of pepper spray, the little silver whistle your mom got when you first left homeóall of it worthless when you canít get to it.

Struggling, but fading, and heís done fumbling with himself, and now fumbling with you. Did you know that if you struggle enough when youíre wearing a skirt, it can work itself either up or down? If you scoot away, itíll work itself down, tangle around your legs.

You learn things.

Right there, you learn that youíre going to get raped and maybe killed, on this dark lonely street, beside a pile of trash and a coil of dog shit. Thatís how theyíll find you, is with your head three inches from dog poop, your face stained from tears mixed with sidewalk grime, your legs splayed open, your shirt ripped. But mostly, with your face right by some dog poop.

And there it is, the reflective blue surface, something youíve seen in your kitchen drawer a thousand times.

You learn to be careful when youíre tearing off a sheet to wrap up the leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Get in a hurry, you can snag you finger on that serrated edge, you know? Hurts like a mad bastard.

You learn things.

And then heís screaming, suddenly, and instead of fumbling with his crotch or with your crotch, heís fumbling with his neck, and in the darkness, it looks like a fluid shadow shooting out into the night.

You learn things.

You learn that even though it was self defense, youíll still get looks while youíre sitting at the station, your clothes ripped, your face still smudged with blood, no matter how many times youíve tried to wash it off. Youíll still get looks because youíre now a killer, and heÖhe was just a rapist.

You learn things.

You learn how to move on, even if opening your door or closing your eyes never again feels as safe as it once did.


posted 7/20/08


Comments:
Entered By Diane From NH
2008-07-24 00:20:30

Fucker deserved it. .Amazing perspective.


Entered By Ray From Austin
2008-07-27 03:09:40

It's always weird writing as a female because I never know what you lunatics are really thinking. It'd be nice if it was just about tacos...



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