OCTOBER 12, 2004 (TUESDAY)
I Am Nobody’s Woman
Is the microphone on?
[tap tap tap]
Hello? Hello-o? Sound check, please.
[tap tap tap … tap TAP TAP]
Welcome to another round of this game called Let’s Pretend.
This is when I gather myself up and give you all a smile and tell you that I’m all right. Which I am, I think. Sort of. I don’t know. There are all these jumbled-up jigsaw puzzle pieces of me that I’m not sure whether they belong but some nights, when the wind is blowing especially hard or when the stars have forgotten to come out, I have a hard time pretending that all the pieces fit together, that they’re all forming this one coherent picture of me. This is why I don’t look at him –
[stares directly at the audience]
– like this.
Maybe, and I was thinking about this while going home, in some form or another, we all want to belong to someone, because we acknowledge the fact that we are lost in the first place. We’re explorers on this vast continent without a compass, hacking our way through a jungle without knowing whether there’s anything on the other side, and some days it just gets so tiring to raise your arm and bring your machete down on a particularly stubborn plant instead of down your own neck.
There are brief moments when I think I belong to him, when I let my guard down, when the game touches that higher level briefly. But then I remember what has happened before, and the circumstances we live in now, and I come back to earth and pull back slightly. Reality has a way of pouring cold water down your back in an effort to wake you up, to tell you, “Hey, no more of that, no more touching, you don’t belong to him anymore, you are nobody’s woman now. He belongs to someone else and you can just stay in your little corner and mind your own business.”
But in the silence of your own thoughts, you sometimes wonder if things could have been different. If you could be happy again. You know – days when you can start believing in love songs again, when you can go home to someone, when you know you belong to someone who will take care of you. And you wonder, hey, maybe you’ve done something so heinous in your past lives that this is payback time: you are doomed to always be in the periphery now - knowing what you’ve lost, and knowing that you’ll never get it back. Cue thunder and lightning as God’s voice says, “You are doomed to be alone…forever!”
[pause, as soft violin music starts playing in the background]
can someone please hand me a tissue paper?