6/02/2021

I really don't have any idea for a title.

I turned 33 on May 23rd. What does your “Christ year” mean when you’re a heretic like me? When, to paraphrase Lafayette Reynolds, Jesus and I agreed to see other people?


Here’s what came to me in the shower tonight, as the rage that burned in me all day hit the water and turned it to steam. I remembered a poem. It’s one from the year I discovered Margaret Atwood, either 2005 or 2006, called “Helen of Troy Does Countertop Dancing.” My hair was straight and cut sharp as steel, sharp as my hip bones jutting out over low rise jeans, and I thought the poem was sexy and subversive, just like I wanted to be. I liked it enough to quote it on my MySpace profile, because I was pretentious and fake-deep and I thought it sounded like my life.


They'd like to see through me,

but nothing is more opaque

than absolute transparency.


Tonight, I read the poem from start to finish for the first time in years. Here’s my favorite quote in context:


The rest of them would like to watch me

and feel nothing. Reduce me to components

as in a clock factory or abattoir.

Crush out the mystery.

Wall me up alive

in my own body.

They'd like to see through me,

but nothing is more opaque

than absolute transparency.


I know this is a two-way mirror. Don’t think I won’t tire of being watched, of being pops of color against the beige.


I’m old enough now to be a person, wouldn’t you say? Not content, not entertainment, not a concept. Not a mall free sample before you go eat somewhere nicer.


I’m 33 and my words are out there to be mistranslated and taken out of context, but that’s where my similarities with Jesus end.