"Bookshelfies are selfies for people who can read." Okay, you don’t have to ask me twice! #bookshelfie #bookshelfies
Everybody here has the ability to do anything I do and much beyond. Some of you will, and some of you won’t. For those who won’t, it will be because you get in your own way, not because the world doesn’t allow you to.
Colpo di fulmine. The thunderbolt, as Italians call it. When love strikes someone like lightning, so powerful and intense it can’t be denied. It’s beautiful and messy,
cracking a chest open and spilling their soul out for the world to see. It turns a person inside out, and there’s no going back from it. Once the thunderbolt hits, your life is
“My news is this, I still want you more than any woman I’ve ever seen. I am asking you to marry me. Would you be convinced if I knelt down? Why not try marrying a fine young man who has a bad reputation and a way with women? It’ll be fun.”
His insistent mouth was parting her shaking lips, sending wild tremors along her nerves, evoking from her sensations she had never known she was capable of feeling. “Stop please, I’m faint,” she whispered.
“I want to make you faint. I will make you faint. You’ve had this coming to you for years. None of the fools have kissed you like this-have they?”
She would faint if he did not stop. If he would only stop -if he would never stop.
“Say Yes! Say Yes damn you, or -“
She whispered “yes” before she even thought.
Only months before she had been sitting with her former lover who was taking pride in how young he looked for his age. She had looked at his face and sighed at the lack of lines across his forehead, no crows feet framing his eyes. Boyishness had never been appealing to her and there was something weak about him. Almost like he wanted to be admonished and then forgiven for his wrongs like a naughty child.
While you were out sowing your wild oats, I fell into the arms of an adult.
Her new love was a man. He might have been the same height but he carried himself with such strength and assuredness he seemed to tower over others. Even his touch was so strong and hot, his grip so vital. There was nothing child-like about him and he was thoroughly masculine.
She took comfort in the grays at his temples and the lines on his face. He was so calm, yet she had an inkling how frightening he might be if he was ever crossed. Slow-building rages are usually the most terrifying. Those who are quick to anger are also quick to forget.
He was the first man to notice the weird fears that gripped her, to make the nightmares go away in his bed. “Nothing,” she had muttered to her ex when he asked what bothered her. But when the awful dream reappeared in her new man’s bed she simply woke to the heat of his strong arms wrapped about her, pulling her into the hard muscles of his chest. The nightmares slowly began to dissolve.
Something about him tamed her wildness. In his arms she became his little pet, obedient where she had always resisted. She finally felt safe. And that’s how she fell in love.
Sometime in the middle of the night he pulled her body across the bed and tight against his chest. It was where she was used to sleeping, where she always felt safe. And it felt good for a moment until she remembered that she hated him. Yet she still loved him too. But that love was dying inside her and turning slowly turning her body into a graveyard. She hated him with all the passion reserved for someone who had penetrated her heart.
In the morning he kissed her before he left for work. Shadows fell across his face. The dark stubble on his face she used to love merely felt abrasive now.
In his mind as he drove to his office, everything was okay now, the slate wiped clean. He thought he could remove it all so quickly, like a clinical procedure. Men have conveniently short memories, but women never forget anything. She had visions of blood slipping through her fingers, an endless red river flowing onto porcelain. Red is the color of a scream.
Good bye life, good bye dreams, good bye happily ever after.
She hid under the covers and thought about staying in bed the entire day. Why bother going through the motions of the day that culminated in facing her tainted lover again, trying to fake happiness?
A little beep pulled her out from under the tent of bedsheets. She picked up her Blackberrry…and after a quick glance she leapt out of bed.
Gloss was applied, perfume was sprayed…she walked up towards a glittering pool with her heart pulsing with excitement. She had spent too long thinking of consequences, of the dark mass smothering her soul. The sun was shining on a perfect Beverly Hills afternoon.
He smiled at her behind sunglasses and handed her a cocktail, which she hungrily sucked up through the straw. A drink to replace it arrived before she even set the glass down. Nothing wrong with drinking while the sun was still up. Midday decadence.
The sun and the booze warmed her flesh quickly. She hadn’t had a drink in so long, not since…
She wasn’t going to remember that now. She turned those thoughts off the way her boyfriend always did, like a little surgical removal of a memory. Clean and anesthetized.
She laughed for the first time in weeks. He set her at ease, hiding his eyes behind his glasses, his mouth curved in desire. Sunlight bounced off the water and made him glow. She wondered why she had resisted him so long. Of course she knew why—she’d been drugged with fairy tales her whole life. She thought love would transform a beast into a prince. But sometimes the beast is just a beast.
The pool was emptying. The afternoon had darkened into into the pale lavender of twilight. She was drunk and not going home.
The night went on. More places, more people, more drinks in her hand. His mouth soon found hers. It had been years since she felt another man’s lips.
She woke up the next morning in another bed. She was nude and not quite sure how she ended up there other than that it had been her intention from the moment she left the house. A few flashes came back to her of gentle love-making, in stark contrast of the raw savagery of sex with her boyfriend. But she didn’t like pain anymore. Gray morning light filtered in through the curtains, onto the face pressed into the pillow next to her. She was so struck by his beauty in repose that she gasped a little. His eyes opened. They were as bright blue as a sunny California sky.
Her Blackberry was ringing. It was a call from her boyfriend at home, where she hadn’t been in over 24 hours. She pressed a button and sent it to voice mail.
If you were born with a female body, other people will always feel entitled to tell you what to do with it. Have babies, don’t have babies, cover it up, show some skin, lose weight, gain weight, get implants, how dare you get implants…it’s like you live in a prison and belong to anyone but yourself. We still tell our victims of sex crimes that they were “asking for it.” And it’s not just cruelty from men against women…women are far worse to each other. Hating something they hate within themselves. Filled with envy over someone else’s appeal, as if other people’s beauty takes away from their own. Blaming healthy women for causing eating disorders in mentally unstable women, despite the fact that over half of our country is overweight and will face severe health problems from it. Why do we blame external sources for our own problems? Why do we hate women for not living up to our beauty standards, then hate them for doing what it takes to live up to our beauty standards? Because the same people who criticize a woman for having implants are the same people who criticize a woman for having small breasts.