4 September, 2009, 639 pm
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For most of my life, I have grappled with my body.  If I didn’t hate some aspect of my body, then I felt neutral about it.  I hated the way my stomach puffed out just before the drop to my nether-region.  I hated my absolute hairiness.  I hated the shortness of my arms and the roundness of my upper arms.  I hated the weird } { shape of my hips and the way I had pudge next to my hips but firmness next to my thighs.  I hated my childish hands.  But I was neutral about my legs, no matter what other people said about them.  I was also neutral about my eyebrows despite my careful landscaping.

Well, I don’t know if she suspected this or if she just wanted to show me something beautiful because we both love photographs and the honesty that emanates from them, but Kelsey introduced me to Completely Naked’s Intimacy project.  It was essentially love at first sight.  Naked human bodies in more than one form with all sorts of hair, all sorts of shapes and scars and sizes captured in the midst of all sorts of remarkably intimate actions.  I saved my favourites to my computer, and I plan to present some of them to you.

What did Completely Naked’s Intimacy project do for me?  It made me comfortable with my own body, with my pudgy stomach, my } { hips, my hairiness.  After spending a few days basking in the glory of other people’s naked bodies, I felt as though I walked around with the most fulfilling secret that nobody else knew.  My clothes may cover me a certain way, but nobody really knows my body as intimately as I do.  I think that in one aspect, it’s impossible for anyone else to know my body functions as well as I do–you can’t tell me when I’ll be nauseous or when I will sweat–but on another plane, I think it’s entirely possible for someone else to understand my body on an entirely different scale in relation to them, from the back, in the places that I can’t see.  That secret made me smile.

This is the first time in the history of my blog that I’ve seriously thought about doing a jump because it’s “not safe” for work/school, but I just decided that Fuck It I Am Not Going To Do A Jump.  I’m not going to do a jump because I don’t feel that the secrets of the human body should be hidden behind a jump.  Fuck your workplace’s/school’s standards.  This is the human body.  Everyone has one.  Don’t be ashamed of yours.  It’s beautiful.  Most of you are going to have sex someday and you’ll be faced with another naked body.  Another pair of eyes and/or hands (if you have sex with someone who is blind, which I think I should put on my list of things to do) will presumably analyze your body in a way that you couldn’t possibly understand.  I’m afraid that some people won’t read this if I put everything behind a jump, and that’s a shame because I find it crucial.

So here are a few of my favourites from Completely Naked’s Intimacy project.   I hope you get as much out of them as I did.

Why I use the internet.

Why I use the internet.

I’ll say, stretching is underrated.  Stretch your arms way above your head, arch your back, twist around a bit.  You’ll see what I mean.  You might also yawn after, and then you will have to thank me.

Do you realize how profound a mother’s influence can be?  I was just reminded of a couple of girls (three, actually) I knew back in early high school whose moms got on their backs about their need to lose weight, to look a certain way, to wear certain clothes, to never forget makeup, and to retain certain ladylike hobbies.  All three of these girls are still pretty young, still in high school, but they’ve turned out to be Christian conservative girls with good posture.  They are beauty pageant daughters.  They don’t really enter beauty pageants, but I would not be surprised if they all attended Cotillion in middle school.  White, upper-middle class Southern belle dancing.  But in my humble opinion, these girls look fine the way they are.

Ma mère influenced me a good deal, too, and still attempts to reform my no-makeup, bad-posture ways.  And she can make me feel so self-conscious when she comments on my clothes or my hair or my skin or my eyebrows.  Sometimes it makes me not want to leave the house.  And she says that I absolutely cannot get piercings, except my ears if I want them, which I don’t.  But she allowed me certain liberties while growing up, maybe because I wasn’t an only child or even an only daughter, but one of three.  I was allowed to do whatever I wanted within reason, no sports, no girly activities like Cotillion, probably because it was too expensive and we were from the north.  My childhood consisted of making art, reading religiously, biking, playing outside, and writing.

The summer before I turned twelve, I spent all day reading every day for several weeks, and my mother grew concerned after a while.  She prohibited me from reading so much, but that’s the only time I can really recall that she stepped in.  I don’t remember how successful she was at that one.  Also, she hates the Shins because they remind her too much of the Beach Boys and doesn’t let me listen to them when she’s in earshot.  And she always used to say that she hoped that I did not listen to music about kids killing their parents.  Like I would.

Oh, “Jack Killed Mom” um…shit.  That doesn’t count!

Looking back, I’m glad she allowed me those liberties because even if I would look so much better if she were so strict about my appearance, she allowed me to develop into my own person, if somewhat reluctantly.  My mom let go of me at a certain point and allowed me to take control of everything from my hair to my eyebrows to my clothing to my music to my hobbies.  The only thing she will not let me control is body hair that is normally shaved.  The thing is that she doesn’t ever see my nether region, so she doesn’t know what’s going on.

Speaking of, here is one of the greatest scenes from one of the greatest chapters in all of the books I have read.   It is Everything Is Illuminated.  I guess I will only put some of it.

My grandfather and the Gypsy girl knew none of this as they made love for the last time, as he touched her face and fingered the soft underside of her chin, as he paid her the attention received by a sculptor’s wife.  Like this? he asked.  She brushed her eyelashes against his chest.  She moved her butterfly kiss across his torso and up his neck to where his left earlobe connected to his jaw.  Like this? she asked.  He pulled her blue blouse over her head, he undid her bead necklaces, he licked her smooth and sweaty armpits and ran his finger from her neck to her navel.  He drew circles around her caramel areolas with his tongue.  Like this? he asked.  She nodded and craned her head back.  He flicked her nipples with his tongue, and knew that it was all so completely wrong, everything, from the moment of his birth to this, everything was coming out the wrong way–not the opposite, but worse: close.

I can’t tell you how much of a funk I was in when I finished that book.  Right now, I feel out-typed, like I have been silkscreening my thoughts onto the internet for too long.  I can’t quite think straight.  I think that I just need vast amounts of sleep.

Between now and when I go to sleep, you should listen to some Stars.  I only obtained Sad Robots EP a few months ago, but ever since then, I am constantly listening to those six songs, minus “Going, Going, Gone [Live]” because it generally gives me a headache and reminds me of an alarm clock.

Undertow | Stars
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“Undertow” is a warm blanket on a cold night, an umbrella on a rainy day, and a bicycle on a sunny afternoon.  It is my crutch.  My favourite aspect of this song is that everything that is in the background is quiet.  So it’s really a tranquil song.  The breakdown near the end comes in at a close second place.

14 Forever | Stars
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Not like I’d like to be fourteen forever for real because I seriously hated being fourteen, but the feeling is so good.  You have to understand.  You know the tenderness that comes along with a first relationship, a first love.  I guess I don’t want to be left alone.

While we’re talking about being a teenager (“14 Forever”), I would like to mention the Hardee’s commercial which uses blatant meat pornography.  This is pretty much a double blow to me because while I could maybe handle some gorgeous woman sucking off a cucumber, it’s just disgusting to see her eating out a huge burger.  It’s not even the meat that really gets me, though.  It’s the pornography.

I’m a reasonable girl.  I can handle sex.  But I don’t think it’s appropriate.  I can’t quite wrap my mind around backup information as to why I can’t watch this commercial without thinking about a high-definition, high-budget porno.  You watch it, and it’s self-evident and shocking.  But it’s also advertising something that is despicable.  And the most interesting thing about this whole deal is that Padma Lakshmi, the model, used to be a vegetarian.  This is flipping a huge bird to the cause.

I don’t know.  You watch it and tell me what you think.

Just, I guess my probelm his that it’s sexual, sure, but it’s not sexy.  And it’s not doing anything to help the feminist front or the animal rights front.  It’s attacking both in one go.

Also, I just realized just how much I miss my mom, and how even if I was seventeen and had a nightmare and woke up screaming and sweaty because of a thunderstorm, she would let me sleep in her bed.  Even though I was just home recently, in March, I feel like I’m going nowhere.  I’m also so frustrated that I’m letting my grades suffer because of some inner crisis.  I also miss Lewisburg as a whole.  I miss Babygirl so much it hurts sometimes.  I miss Ali and Carol kidnapping me.  I miss Shannon coming into our house and eating our food and making up characters and gossipping.  I miss Aunt Peggy coming in and getting ice from the icemaker.  I miss making friendship bracelets without shoes on.  I miss biking around the neighborhood at eleven at night and crying so hard because I was so frustrated and I felt so helpless and alone, and then sitting in the back yard feeling dead, empty, and far from hungry and looking up at the stars.

24 September, 2008, 949 pm
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I’ve been really naive for the past eighteen years.

I’ve been really naive about everything.

You may think that I’m a well-informed young woman.  All vegan and whatnot.  Conscious of her carbon footprint.  You may think that my love for animals is bold, revolutionary and difficult–inconvenient, even.  I know because I used to look up to this kind of person.  Yeah, well, that’s what you think.

You may think it’s so great that I’m all for equality!  I’m a liberal!  And I’m learning about feminism and I’ve learned that some of the things I’ve said in the past were just stupid.  Like what I said about rape.  And like how I used to use the word “ghey” generously because I figured it was an appropriate synonym for “stupid.”  Nevermind that it sounds the same as “gay.”  I stopped a long time ago, and it’s just a huge improvement on my part.

And you know…it’s great that I read so much.  I’m educating myself.  Most people my age never bother to pick up a damn book because reading is boring.  But I know that it’s crucial.  You have to find the right books.  And I also know that finding your own taste in music is important, too.  Not like I think outside the box, really, but at least I’ve found my true niche musically.  I love what I hear.

Maybe you’re not thinking any of this.  Maybe you think I’m stupid, and that’s inaccurate as well.  You’d only be right if you said that I’m incredibly naive.  Back to the first sentence.  I’m naive.

I thought people really cared about these things.  I thought they made these missions their life.  Education, God, animal rights, feminism, math.  But really, they’re just hobbies.  At the end of the day, they just go home for a good fuck.  That’s it.  When they clock out, their temporary hobbies don’t matter.  It’s all about sex.

I’m not just talking about society and advertising.  I’m talking about life.  The big picture.  Doesn’t it seem so obvious?  I mean, it’s instinct to track down a mate.  We look for soulmates, and life–they tell you that you should live to love.  Everything’s about “love.”  It’s just a nice way to cover it up and say that everything’s about sex.  You fall in love, and you want to have sex with that person.  You have sex, and you may or may not fall in love.  What is love anymore?  And I’m completely serious–what is love?

So as an eighteen-year-old virgin, I feel singled out and stupid.  So many women in the feminist movement tell you that you should have sex.  You shouldn’t worry about retaining your virginity.  It won’t sully you to have sex.  In fact, it’s unhealthy not to have sex.  Fuck Christian morals.  Have sex.  Have sex as often as you want with as many partners as you want.  Virginity doesn’t matter and it doesn’t feel any different to lose it.  You don’t have to rush to lose it or anything, but man, don’t be a fucking prude.  Just get it over with when you’re offered the chance.

Now you think I’m not worth listening to because I’m inexperienced.  Or you think I’m Christian (I’m not, and I don’t see myself waiting until marriage because I don’t even know about marriage).  Or you think I’ve got some moral complex with having sex or at least being deflowered (I simply don’t).

My reason is simple.  I haven’t had three million opportunities to have sex.  I’ve had one, and I felt at my core that I was too young and not ready, so I just declined.  I’m no good at suggestion and I’m really shy.  I’m fairly difficult to obtain because I’m selective and timid, and I’m fairly difficult to retain because I have commitment issues–I’m always in love with someone else.  Oh, and I’m not going to go out of my way to ask some boy flat-out if he wants to fuck–Number One, how romantic would that be?  and Number Two, he would no doubt decline my offer because that would be creepy.  There are some guys who would be turned on by some girl asking them to fuck, but not just any girl.  We’re talking at least sorority-girl hot or cheerleader hot.  I’m very average.

Basically, it’s my decision, and it has nothing to do with religion or morals.  I just don’t want to.  I want to be passionate about other things, like literature and intellectual pursuits and French.  I don’t need sex right now, and I don’t think that will ever be some main focus of my life.  I’m not going to argue that sex sucks.  I think it’s necessary, just as necessary as art or music or eating.  But to make it the focus of everything, the underlying meaning of absolutely everything…it’s overwhelming for me.  I just want intellectual pursuits without sex.

It’s always been weird hearing about people who have stated that they would fuck me or that they find me even mildly attractive (an implication that they could potentially find me fuckable down the road).  But now I understand that it’s just what everything boils down to.  Sex.  It’s not really anything personal, and they don’t love me.  It’s not really that they even like me.  It’s that I have a vagina and reasonable tits.

This is where I have a problem with conformity to “sexual orientations.”  I’m not going to say that it’s actually a preference, something we can turn on and off.  But if love is what I want it to be–if love is about more than just sex–then I’m partial to self-determinism.  The lack of autonomous gender preference.  Or, okay, you could say that I’m heterosexual, and that would be accurate because I’ve always been attracted to males and I’ve always dated males and I’ve never had any sort of intimate relationship with a female (not that I’ve ever had the opportunity because society makes it so unacceptable to be in a same-gender relationship that my mom would probably temporarily disown me).  I am predominantly, overwhelmingly heterosexual.  That doesn’t mean that I’d completely rule out loving a woman, though.  Right now, I’m not talking about sexual experimentation, like so many girls do.  I’m talking about love, like being madly in love with someone.  Love of mind and personality and appearance, but mainly things that extend beyond appearance.  Maybe that would extend to sex.  But it would be primarily based on mind and personality and appearance, because that’s how I evaluate my love for males, too.  I think that confinement to heterosexual or homosexual or bisexual labels is negative because I don’t see any reason why you can’t love whoever you want.  Now, some people would be willing to label me as bisexual for even thinking this way.  Others would prefer to label me as a lesbian because bisexuality “doesn’t exist,” and if I’m dancing with a guy, I’ll always be looking over his shoulder at some girl (not true).  And these are just my thoughts right now–I’ve not even acted on them yet.

For the sex obsession, by the way, it’s not just the men.  It’s the women, too.  Of course, it’s more repressed because it’s less socially acceptable for a girl to express her sexual desires than it is for a guy.  I mean, a guy can express that he has a boner proudly, but a girl can’t express that she’s all wet and horny.  But think about it.  Your female teachers will go home and have steamy sex with their boyfriends tonight.  Maybe after an argument, cold and stiff makeup sex.  Maybe after a romantic dinner.  The girl who made your sandwich at Subway will have sex with her girlfriend after her shift.  That’s everything.  Sex is universal.  It’s so simple.  It’s why we need other people’s approval.  It’s why we care so much about appearance.  We want to get laid.  And unlikely people get laid, too.  Your class president.  The bus driver.  Unlikely people have sex with people who are unlikely candidates to be their sexual partners.  Teachers and students.  The most studious people in your grade with some drug addicts.  Most people you meet have sex or have had sex.  They’re just not sharing.  But I don’t know why not.  Everyone wants it.  Sharing stories would make sex ever so slightly more attainable if it was less secret, and I think it would also make a lot of types of sex less taboo.

Only thing is, I hope I’m wrong about life being about sex.  It’s so disappointing that life might be based on something so simple and even carnal and completely superficial.  It’s so disappointing that I can feel myself plummeting into a depression.  I think I just want boko-maru.  I just want to press the soles of my feet up against those of someone else and let them work their magic.  I want a connection without taking off my clothes.  I want to love simply and to be loved without the expectation of an orgasm all the time.  I want to be loved for being smart and attractive and witty.  But I don’t want to have to be Christian to do it.

P.S.  Many parts of this entry are inspired by BITCHfest.

P.P.S.  I left my secret somewhere in Richmond today, and it helped me to feel better.

14 May, 2008, 956 pm
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My friend was arrested and put in jail for an alleged rape.  At first, I didn’t think much of it, except that I had a slight stomach ache.  It reminded me of the sheer anxiety I felt when I found out that Josh was arrested and put in jail, and wondering, plain and simple, why.  But unlike the situation with Josh, I knew why this friend was put in jail.  And I felt scared for him, because he might be overwhelmed, especially because of the way people will talk when he gets back to school.  He’s a joke, whether he’s innocent or guilty.  I also felt slightly angry.

If he did, in fact, rape her, then fine.  Whatever.  I’ll be angry at him for violating all morals because his penis couldn’t wait.  And I will be so sorry for the girl.  Her whole life and trust in men, ruined.

But I’m most angry about the people at school who know very little about him who are making it all into a joke.  Or they’re saying that they definitely saw this coming, or they knew something was fishy.  No, you didn’t.  Only through rumours, which you should always, always either take with a grain of salt or keep in mind but disregard.  It’s not like you ever took the time to get to know him because everyone who has lived here all their lives knows all the supposedly fact-based misconceptions about him.  I’m an outsider, yes, but I find that prejudices are built around people for little reason on small incidents.  All the skaters are potheads.  “Poor” people are Dirties and they apparently smell bad.  Half the senior class is full of alcoholics.

What I think and firmly believe probably happened was that yes, he seduced the girl into having sex, maybe, and perhaps she was a bit reluctant, but that she probably regretted the whole thing afterwards and then told her parents or the authorities that she was raped.  Sexually assaulted and raped.  Maybe it was to save her dignity as a supposed virgin.  Perhaps she told her friends about the whole thing and they harassed her to turn him in, based on misconceptions.  Maybe they called her a slut or something because they disapproved of her sex life.  Or maybe they disapproved of her sexual orientation because perhaps they are hardcore narrow-minded lesbians.  I don’t know.

Thing is, girls can do that.  The least bit of doubt about what you did, and you can turn a guy in and say he raped you.  That’s why, on one count, a guy has got to be careful about who he chooses to have sex with.  If you don’t choose someone you trust and is fully willing, then you have the potential to be screwed by the law.

And as for the girl?  I have no idea who she is.  And maybe she’s someone like me.  But I’m assuming that she knew my friend beforehand, at least several hours or days beforehand, and going into that whole thing, I’m certain that it probably seemed like a date.  If you’re going into a date with someone you don’t know very well, especially someone that charming and confident, do a group date.  Whether or not you’re on a group date, always stay in a very public place and don’t stay out to all hours of the night.  I don’t care how romantic it would be otherwise.  You probably won’t be raped.  You could probably even get away with some making out in public at Hufnagel or Kidsburg (just don’t consent to get in the Rocket Ship or any tunnel-like structure).  And if you’re not sure if you want to have sex, just say no.  The guy should respect your decision, and if he genuinely cares about you, he’ll be able to wait.  This should be common sense.

Basically, though, my friend did not grab some random good-looking girl in the Wal-Mart parking lot and force himself upon her.  Come on, now.

I am mainly freaking right now, though, because my eyebrow magnifying mirror is MISSING from my room ever since yesterday, when someone apparently swiped it from my desk in an attempt to improve the quality of their own eyebrows.  That thing is my baby, perhaps more so than my iPod.  I use it every day for a good amount of time, and I become very stressed if I can’t find it.  And I can’t find it now.  I paid eight dollars for that thing, and it is amazing.  I hate living here and being unable to lock all the doors and windows, because it means extreme invasion.  At any moment, one of my sisters or cousins could sneak into my room and take something without my knowledge or permission.  And knocking is apparently unnecessary.  If I go over there to borrow something, though, I get stared at until I leave.  It’s not like I could go over there to grab food after school or drink all their juiceboxes or chill and utilize their normal-sized television or gaming systems or whatever.  It’s all about asking and being polite for us.  Don’t get me wrong; I love my family, but sometimes…Jesus Christ Almighty, you know?

I am very tired, and I feel that this song is accurate for capturing happy nostalgia, despite the lyrical content.  This would be a shout-out time to my frennnz.  Lewisburg and Richmond.  Guess what shirt I wore today.  Just guessssss.

A Man/Me/Then Jim | Rilo Kiley
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Here are the lyrics.  I don’t think I could really express what this song means to me any other way, really, then urging you to listen to it.  Jenny Lewis’ voice says it all.

I had one friend in high school; recently he hung himself with string
His note said, “If livin’ is the problem, well, that’s just bafflin’.”
And at the wake I waited around to see my ex-first-love
And I barely recognized her; I knew exactly what she was thinkin’ of
We sat quietly in the corner whisperin’ close about loss
And I remembered why I loved her and I asked her why I drove her off

She said, “The slow fade of love, its soft edge might cut you
And our poor friend, Jim, well, he just lived within
The slow fade of love.”

A woman calls my house once a week; she’s always sellin’ things
Some charity, a phone plan, or a subscription to a magazine
As I turned her down (I always do) there was somethin’ tremblin’ in her voice
I said, “Hey, what troubles you?”
She said, “I’m surprised you noticed.

“Well, my husband, he’s leavin’ and I can’t convince him to stay
And he’ll take our daughter with him; she wants to go with him anyway
I’m sorry I’m hard to live with; livin’ is the problem for me
I’m sellin’ people things they don’t want when I don’t know what you need.

“He said, ‘The slow fade of love and its mist might choke you
It’s the gradual descent into a life I never meant
It’s the slow fade of love.'”

I was drivin’ south of Melrose; I happened upon my old lover’s old house
I found myself starin’ at the closed-up door like the day she threw me out
“Diana, Diana, Diana, I would die for you
I’m in love with you completely; I’m afraid that’s all I can do.”
“You can sleep upon my doorstep.  You can promise me indifference, Jim.
But my mind is made up and I’ll never let you in again.”

For the slow fade of love it might hit you from below
It’s your gradual descent into a life you never meant
It’s the slow fade of the love [repeated an infinite number of times]