littlewonder2

Little wonder we stumble in life.


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Public Nightmare

Inspired by: Tasha Receno – “Just Another Rape Poem”

Trigger Warning: rape mentions

I see a sea of faces, bright lights, and look down for just a moment. I have performed before, but in most cases I focus less on the audience and more on the stage. But I am alone out here, so I peer through the light like its a mirror, and begin to speak.

“When I used to imagine sex, I imagined pain
Pictured a force tearing me apart
Me, with no choice
Him, with no mercy
Tearing me apart even when I screamed for mercy
Or a break
Or it was too much sensation
Or I was too dry

I have the vague memory of a penis entering me –”

I am cut off by a voice, detached at first, coming from nowhere. Then I begin to see the audience, scanning it, when the invisible voice comes again. Now I’m able to pinpoint it, find his face, hear his words.

“You should stop whining about rape and learn to defend yourself,” he says.

He doesn’t know, none of them do. This is why, after all, I’m up here. Because people don’t know what I know, because I’m tired of being misunderstood, because people need to understand. Because I know someone will, and fuck the rest.

But this man’s still talking, still interrupting me, even while he calls me the interruption. He doesn’t see the hypocrisy. And as he continues to challenge me, I become the monster on stage, curling my fists hard, imagine launching myself at him.

But I don’t. I stand still, frozen as I force myself to remain frozen, imagine physically holding myself back. I take a few deep breaths, stop imagining my fist in his face, and start imagining yelling at him instead.

“You know what?” I say, “Fuck this. You think it’s so simple? I’ll write another slam poem, just for you.”

I wander downstage, then return to the mic upstage, preparing myself. I take a deep breath to steady myself, and when I begin, my voice is screaming.

“I won’t be silent!
Men like you
Have been silencing women like me for centuries!
I was raped!
And I deny it pretty often in my own head, but I won’t anymore!

You think you know me?
You have silenced me.
I spend every minute of every day bowing to your whims.
I don’t speak about it, I am afraid!
Afraid of offending someone,
of provoking someone,
of embarrassing myself,
of crossing some line.
But it’s all a lie!
I don’t owe you shit!

I was raped!
And men like you defend those rapists.
You degrade me,
as if I’m to blame.
I don’t have anything to do with it.
No matter what, they will still rape,
no matter who you blame.

You ask why I don’t defend myself.
Why,
day in and day out,
why don’t I defend myself against violence that is everywhere?
I take beatings, don’t get me wrong
I get abused
invalidated
denied
I take this abuse in my body just as if you had punched me in the face
But I take it
because I don’t want to be a bitch,
don’t want to complain,
am told I deserve it.

I don’t deserve it.
But everyday, my fear and my anger grows
My body corrupt
my mind twisted
so that I lose my compass
and lose myself in the forest of right and wrong
a forest of my own emotions
a forest of my inner selves
I search, decade by decade, for myself
I’m searching for how I feel,
I’m searching for -” I burst into song, “when will my reflection show
who I am inside -” and back,
“I’m searching for who I am,
and I’m searching for the bravery to wear my heart on my sleeve.
I doubt even you’re man enough to do that. Most men aren’t.
Men are balls of fear wrapped up in bravery,
a paradox men like you are completely blind to.

Many men are bullies
That’s why many men rape
Because they need to take in order to feel whole
To feel powerful in order to feel in control
To control others rather than yourself
To violate someone else’s rights in order to feel your own.
It’s been happening for centuries,
so you must be afraid, ‘why stop now?’
End of an era.
And it’s coming
And that terrifies you, doesn’t it?
So much you have to condemn us to ‘just a distraction’ in order to convince yourself we’re not a threat
Yeah, keep thinking that, because before you know it
we won’t be
just a distraction
We will change the world.”

I take a breath, thinking back on everything I just said, while looking him the eye again.

“You know, I should really thank you
By standing in as my muse
You only fuel my power.
Critics like you
remind me how much hate there still is in the world

Hate versus hate, there should really be art
Because hate plus art equals heart
And that’s really what we could use more of.”

And with that, I spin from him and exit the stage, invited into the fold of my fellow performers, and I’m awash with praise once again.

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Permanent Loathing

“Why did you do this to me?” she asked herself, crying in the mirror, body full of fat and blood, thick, solid, thumping heart in her chest. “At least let me diet first. This body is too hungry, kills too many. I’d rather starve on a hospital bed than be this.”

And she had. For ten years before being bitten, she had gone between a hundred kilos and forty, bloated body and frail one, a life of self-hatred at extremes, a life both starving and full, in a desperate dissatisfied longing to find a perfect medium and passing it constantly. She had gotten used to the misery. It felt like she had spent less than 1% in that satisfied state before she lost it again, before her feelings, like a black pit of nerves and fear and disbelief, possessed her again and that hate bubbled to the surface again, convincing her she was ugly, that she wasn’t enough, that she had to eat less and exercise more, until her ribs poked out and her eyes sunk, and they had to feed her through a tube again. Feeling so sick, she swore she’d never do that again, and she ate and ate all her body back… until she couldn’t stop. And the process started over again.

She would never be back in that bed again. She was fat forever, a vampire thirsty for blood. Perhaps the vampire who bit her knew that, had a sadistic fascination with bloodlust, liked killing, liked corrupting her. Maybe he was like a soldier, or a serial killer, and wanted her to feel the same fury.

All that blood in her memories, dripping, soaking the ground, soaking people she had known… what was satisfying about that?

He walked up behind her, skinny had she had once been, thin waist, flat stomach, and wrapped his hands around her protruding one. “Because I love you, Stephanie. I hated to see you suffer. I want you to see yourself as I see you: beautiful.”

“I’ve killed people,” she said.

“I know,” he said. “But don’t you love me too? Isn’t this worth it?”

“No. Not anymore. I loved you too. But I can I love someone who made me this?”

“Because you just do. I can see inside your soul, Steph, I know you’re in pain. But love is forever, and I think you know that.”

“I feel no love here. I don’t think you ever have.”

“Stop lying,” he said, “it hurts, you know.”

“Now you know how I feel.”

“Please,” he begged, “just love yourself. Please,” he cried, silent solitary tears sliding slowly down his face. “Please.” He put his chin on her shoulder, looking at her reflection.

“I don’t know how,” she said.


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Kate before Leonardo

Her hips were padded with skin, her stomach caked with potato chips, grease and donuts. It wasn’t always easy to find her bones, and she’d been called fat too many times. Her head was filled with more demons than thoughts, and she fit into size 18s. She wanted nothing more than to stop caring, yet every day, her heart burst against their seams, barely able to contain herself.

She walked through the crosswalk, rugged up in layers of winter clothes and thick white scarf covering her neck, watching the steam rise up off of her coffee to go.

She stopped in the middle of the road, winded by a high-pitched monotone and a blinding bright light. When it disappeared, she was standing in a forest. She turned on the spot, looking up at the trees.

“Where am I?” she asked.

But there was no answer. So she started walking.

After a few hours, she came to a clearing, a brown little cabin in the centre of it. At first, she just stared, until finally she came upon it, trying to see through the closed wooden blinds. She found an old rusted axe by the door, and opened it.

Empty.

She dropped it again by the door, and sank into the bare hard chair, burying her head in her hands.

It got dark. She began to search the cabin for food, a bed. She went to sleep early.

She woke to a giant crash. A man stood over her, brandishing the axe. “What are you doing in my house?”

She threw up her hands. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” she cried.

She slammed down the axe, and she rolled off the bed. “Please, please!” cried Kate.

The axe came down again, and she turned on her side, her cotton sweater getting hacked through, her stomach grazed in the cut. She rolled up to her feet, hauled herself up, and ran for the door. He chucked the axe at her, whizzing in front of her and lodging itself into the wall. She ran out.

She fell through the trees as he rushed at her from behind. God, she missed the city. At least it was safer than this.

Arrows flinged over her head, and she bowed lower, hands up to cover her face. Yet somehow they flew behind her, and she stood up again as she ran, right into the arms of another woman, who dragged her into hiding behind a tree.

Kate looked around the trunk to see a whole group of women take down the one man. They shot him full of arrows till he fell silently to the ground, dead.

She gaped, hardly believing he was dead, or that he didn’t scream. Kate started to stand, but the woman at her side pulled her down.

“What!”

“No,” said the woman, watching her friends at their kill, retrieving their arrows. Kate watched her, still confused, trying to understand. The woman looked up as some birds flew overhead.

Finally, she was allowed to stand and join her new friends. She walked with them through the uncertain forest, feeling both insecure in their company, and hoping she could trust them.

They led her back to a ruin in the woods, columns rising from the ground broken at the top, and the centre stood a statue of a woman, naked. Her body was toned, her breasts fat, her hips full, and her face whole. She was almost like a real woman.

And now the women surrounded her, laying their weapons on a tablet, guiding her to the river that ran away from the ruined temple. And they began to pull away her clothes.

Kate took a step back, and her friend caught her. “I can’t.”

“You must,” said the woman. “We must honour Venus. Only you are pure enough for our rite.”

“How can you know that?”

“The Gods have spoken to us. The birds have given us a sign that we have found the one.”

“That’s insane,” said Kate. “What is your name?”

“Florence.”

She looked at Florence helplessly, then back at the already stripped women around her. “You don’t want to see me…” Kate said. “I’m ugly.”

Florence took her face in her hands, looking deep within her eyes. “You are beautiful,” she said passionately. “You are like Venus… a goddess amongst men.”

Kate looked back in horror. “I – I’m not. I’m horrible and fat -”

Florence ran her hands down Kate’s arms. “You are beautiful. You have a perfect body. To be any thinner than you are now, you would be ugly. Look around you. You have been sculpted by the Gods…”

Kate looked again at the naked bodies, bodies just like hers. She stared in shock. These strong, perfect women, and their stomachs were… round like hers, not flat. And still she saw muscles, and glowing skin, and perfect curls and blush and eyes. It was enough to believe in God again.

Florence slipped off Kate’s sweater, and she wasn’t even scared for a moment, until Florence realised all the layers were gone and she was already half naked, and hugged her boobs in an attempt to hide them. Florence held up the bra confused, then threw it away. Then she started on her jeans.

Kate jumped out of her skin, as fingers brushed her navel. “Are you sure this is alright?”

Florence said nothing, but smiled and nodded, working on the buttons. She worked them free, and began the slide the jeans down, when Kate grabbed at them in fear.

“I have thunder thighs.”

Florence looked up into her eyes, soft and vulnerable. “A gift from Jupiter,” said Florence.

Kate blushed. “I’m just a normal girl. Average looks. Full of flaws.”

“I don’t believe you,” said Florence, kissing her belly button. It shocked Kate enough to drop her hands, and allowed Florence to finish undressing her.

Then she led her by the pool to bathe. “I’ve done nothing to deserve this.”

“You don’t need to. You are pure. You have been loyal to our goddess, and now you will be hers.”

“I don’t know…” Kate was still trying to hide herself in the waters, but it wasn’t doing any good.

“You can’t hide yourself from me,” said Florence. “I see you.” She stroked her face lovingly.

She didn’t have to say it, Kate pouted, blushing, but took her arms away, finally surrendering to Florence. Florence smiled, staring, washing her nurturingly.

Kate later learned, while being inducted to their sisterhood, that Florence was their leader. And she was just one of her sisters. She didn’t mind; this place had finally begun to banish her doubts, and her fears. She learned to be one of them, in time.


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In The Club

She pulled me by the hand with smiling oriental brown eyes shining through the growing darkness at me. Her delicate orange hair flowed in beautiful waves behind her shoulder, and she was wearing a short yet elegant red dress.

Getting in, she dragged me grinning into the darkness, the flashing green and blue lights, and the pounding beat of the music. This is what she lived for, just another party girl, but she my friend and I wanted to have fun with her too if I could get used to this scene. I had never even been to a club before.

She took me through the club to the dance floor, and he danced together. She smiled when I smiled, and it was fun. She really was looking at me, and enjoying my company. If I could just keep it up…

But the night wore on and she got drunk. Some boys talked to her, and they must’ve asked her to take her clothes off, because before I knew it, her dress was off and they were taking pictures with their phones.

“Come on, do it with me!” she yelled over the music to me.

I shook my head. No way was that happening.

“Come on, it’s just a bit of fun. You should chill out and join me!”

“I’m all for being chill, but that’s a bit too far!”

“Well, then do it me! It’s just a bit of fun!”

I tried to keep myself together, stay calm, but I felt caught in a horrifying situation, spinning out of my control. “Then you go do it you slut!” I shot at her. Hurt filled her eyes, and she slipped back into her dress.

“What the hell!” she cried. I couldn’t bare to look at her like this, and made away through the crowd, looking for the exit.

Until suddenly she caught me by the shoulder, and I spun back to her without thinking.

“What the hell was that just now?” she asked me seriously, and I knew I couldn’t escape her now.

“I just didn’t want to do that just now,” I said, hugging my arms into me at the thought, “it gives me a bad feeling. I can’t believe you would. I mean, I know you feel like it’s all fun and games, but I don’t. You just don’t know where those things will end up.”

“It’s okay,” she said, touching my shoulder.

“No, it’s not,” I said, shrugging out from under her touch, uncomfortable. “Photos like that, nonconsensual, it’s like rape. Except it never ends. I don’t know I could stand it. I couldn’t live that way, constantly.”

“Geez,” said my friend, watching me guiltily. “I’m sorry. I just wanted to see you. You know I… I like you.”

Now guilt passed through me, and I looked away, holding myself tighter. I stumbled over words, apologising. I felt even worse because I liked her too. And now I didn’t know what to say. “I’m sorry. It’s just… I have a thing about my body. I’m shy about showing it. By myself I’m alright, but anyone else… I don’t know.” I looked at her. “I don’t even know I could share it with someone I liked,” I said, blushing. “I’m not sure I could trust them.”

“That must be a very lonely way to live, always hiding.”

“I can’t help it, it’s just who I am. Besides, what about you, always living so senselessly.”

“I guess we both have something to learn. From each other, maybe. Come home with me.”

I considered only a moment, picturing our future together, before I said yes.


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Twisted Nightmare

She was closed in doors, closed in by trees. Her feet echoed off the empty hallway, creeping in at her. She felt alone, but she knew she wasn’t. She could sense someone there. 

He came towards her at the corner of the hallway like a gasping breath, knocking her into the wall and attacking her mouth. Not content at that, Alex began to touch her body, grabbing her as if he owned her. He pressed hard into her, frontal against her, ready to rape her —

Then his face changed, and she was staring back at her father, older, lighter, white scar under his left eye, wicked grin full of teeth —

Dawn woke up.


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The Words I Can’t Say

#1493 – Asexual Awareness Week. Today I’ve been reading up on my old favourites on wordpress, ithinkincomics and onlyfragments, when I found this.

My first impressions, the first thing I wanted to say is this:

Oh honey, you’re not ugly and unacceptable. You’re beautiful. There’s no reason to feel ashamed of yourself. And I know no words I can say, or write, will make up for that feeling if you really feel it in your chest…

I’m not asexual, or anything like that. But I feel you. Or I think I do. There was perhaps a point when I felt like that, when everyone seemed interested in that and I didn’t. I was only a teenager then, but now I know that wasn’t true. I was just repressing my interests, and I didn’t even know I was doing it. I did it for years, and when I finally woke up to myself… I felt a bit like that too.

But I don’t anymore. Even if I never say it aloud, how I feel, what I want, I am far more at ease than I was when it started. I’m at ease with myself, even if I’m not with other people to the extent that I tell no one these things. But I do feel them. I’m far more the adult now, who knows herself. At 25, you’d think I would be.

So I hope anyone who reads this who is unsure knows it can get better, whatever your personal struggles are.