February 15, 2001
I inherited my father’s habit of sitting with my back to the wall and my eyes on the door, jumping when someone moves their chair closer. I feel more comfortable with people when there’s something between us a telephone line, marriage (each to someone else), when only one of us speaks English. “Humankind is nothing but an explosion contemplating itself just before destroying itself,” my father once said. “What about love?” I said. “What about it?” he said.
This book on hormones I’ve been reading tells me that testosterone in both sexes urges genital focus, but women need moments of intimacy spread out in little pockets for days sometimes for the oxytocin to activate their testosterone. Estrogen, also present in both sexes but dominant in women, urges one to receive attention, loyalty, penises. How could I have been born the receptive sex? It doesn’t suit me. I’m caught in a web of hormones I didn’t ask for, but which must be answered to.
Dave wouldn’t let me sneak off to heavy metal karaoke tonight with Laura. Well, he didn’t say no. He doesn’t say no. He just gets this wander angle to his body, like a young tree in a summer storm. He stood and swayed, and that means no.
At eleven, I’m in bed, irritated by the blanket. If I were at heavy metal karaoke, I’d be pressing my lips to a mic. I love the way microphones smell of tin and human. Tobacco leaves. Dave has slipped into bed, his feet are hot on mine. He has an erection. He always has an erection. I wish I were a man. I would roam this land, slapping people with my cock. Roam and slap. I would impregnate women and leave. I would drink and do drugs. My sperm would last for forty years. I tell this to Dave and he tries to touch me between the legs. “Wait,” I said, “my oxytocin . . . ” The thought of having a swinging cock excites me, but where my legs meet, I feel like a microphone smells tin and human, and the tin is stronger. Have I ever been excited, in my body? Have I been faking it all this time? Why do people have sex, anyway? It feels like I’m sitting patiently at the bottom of a wishing well. I like it down here, far from the noise and mess of sexual excitement.
Hatred of intimacy looks like intimacy to me. It looks rare and worthy. It has a gleam. But I admire real intimacy too the one that gives in. The one I imagine other people having. One day I want a baby, the next day I want to run away. If sex is the past’s way of ensuring its transformation into the future (my ancestors become my descendents, my blood is the river they surge down), then I guess that’s okay with me. If only I knew. Dave slaps me with his cock in the face, in the neck. I admire his relationship with his excitement he’s not existential. He smooths out my stomach with his hands, then he kisses me. Wow, we haven’t kissed in probably six months. This is great! Lips are soft. I’m floating up the well . . . Our lips are pretty fishes. He yanks my hair, and everything that ever was becomes this one action, this
tug. He’s pulling my whole body through my hair! People should do this to each other all the time. We circle all around my puss in our bedroom, not touching it, just thinking about it. We swim and yank, and at last he’s found my opening and he stretches it; he’s halfway in and now I remember every time I ever wanted it. Now we are like giant, lumbering construction vehicles, slowly changing our position. We dig a pit in the bed and then we fill it in.
I was born a woman, and for that I have to clean out my body so that it’s a good home for another human. I was born rebellious, so I wage two wars at once: I fight my body’s urge to be filled with baby, and I fight the feminist message to not be a baby machine (therefore, I want five). Most of all, I fight against what I understand: that I am not important; life is. I am one cell, I have to do my job for the larger body. But I long to escape, to be a rogue cell outside the protection and laws of the body. It seems noble to do everything wrong, and lose. I’m thinking all this as Dave moves deeper and deeper within me, into my non-birth-control-pilled womb. And then I feel like I always do right before I come that I’m flying into the devil, who is a glowing spiral. I’m going down and I say, “Don’t pull out.”
Lisa Carver and Nerve.com, Inc.