i told my boyfriend i have a period with poetic timing. it’s really true. when i got divorced i bled for six months straight. i bled like a gunshot victim. i went to see my ob/gyn and she didn’t even bat an eye, “it’s trauma,” she said, “you’ll be alright eventually but right now your body is just screaming over and over and over again ‘don’t put a baby in here.’ ” i went through boxes of tampons every week like i go through bunches of bananas. some of you are going ‘ew, tmi’ but this tmi is the real truth of my real body. today is my 33rd birthday and i have just started my period, like i knew i would. it’s been exactly one year since i left my husband. i mean, physically left him.
i wrote the above paragraph when i thought i was going to start my period yesterday but then i never did. so whatever for poetic timing. my period does what it wants. instead of getting my period yesterday, i took all of my books to half price books and sold them (which i guess could have happened simultaneously but didn’t). i got $100 dollars. when they called me to the counter to make me my offer i saw all my books stacked there and i put my hands gently on them and i said, “goodbye books.” and then i started to cry but only after i had the cash in my hands and had counted it once. those books did a lot: they taught me about writing, they were my friends when i didn’t have any, they were my escape, their spines were the decoration in the background of a life i spent ten years telling myself i wanted but ultimately did not want.
it’s all going away. the books, the furniture, the art, the lamps, the bike, the bed. goodbye, goodbye, goodbye little ships. i’m taking what is left of the ruins and blowing it away like dust. i took all my grandmother’s fur today and gave it to a place that rips up fur and sends it to places that rehabilitate animals. doing that, i felt like i completed a circle that was drawn in 1940 when those minks originally had their skins ripped off their bodies. here you go baby animals, be rehabilitated. here you go el, be rehabilitated too. let everything go. that’s all you can do anyway, so it’s good practice.
i’m going to leave minnesota by driving up, out of duluth and over michigan’s UP. a place i’ve never been. and then i’m going to go to a place i’ve never been. then, to a place i’ve never been. and then, after that, to a place i’ve never been. i’m going to take all my blood with me, in its mobile vein filled suitcase, poetic or not. i’ll take my blood and my memories but not much else. the rest can stay here, in this mid-america corn womb/corn ocean, gently rocking side to side like the wind in the leaf heavy trees after sunset.
does anyone else ever feel like all that’s really true is the brutality of winter? and that the rest of the time we’re living in a dream? sometimes in the dead of a minnesota summer all i can think about is how everything once was ice and shortly will be again. and it feels so true. life is just a maelstrom with smoke breaks.
happy (belated) birthday to me. when i tell people i’m 33 they all say, “that’s how old jesus was when he died.” but i don’t know why.