I just want to begin today with a question directed at the men who might be reading this or even the ones who might unknowingly take claim on the women who are reading this: What else do you need?
Many of you know that I spent a month of last year trying to compile stories of all the men who have ever left me. The project came to an abrupt end when emotional chaos took over and I couldn’t learn from what I was doing anymore. I am continuing to compile these stories into a book. I don’t want to publish stories from this year onto my blog in case one of the men from my recent past comes upon the story and sends me an upsetting personal discourse regarding why I am being a hysteric and he was just being a person when he evacuated my life for no reason. Further, there are stories that I have not published digitally because they involve people who are quite close to me and the last thing I want to do is target the vulnerability of people I love or even of people who think I love them which, by the way, counts.
This brings me to the point of today.
Feel free to read this, whoever you are, but this is really a memo to the men who don’t need me (which is, apparently, all men everywhere):
It counts that I think you care about me.
It counts when we make each other believe that a valuable presence is being summoned up into one another’s lives.
It counts when we force connection.
It all counts.
Emotional impulse is uncontrollable and what’s shit is that we have to be accountable for each impulse or else we are easily “Crazy”.
For example, if one of you retains me in your home until I kiss you goodbye and that upsets me, I cannot act irrationally on impulse. I must remain accountable for my impulse. Even if I were to hurt you in that instance (And, Eddie, you know I almost did hurt you), I would need to remain accountable for having hurt you. Never mind that the emotional impulse (sexual despair) behind your targeting me in your own home is not necessarily believable because I have no proof that you forced me to kiss you and therefore I do not have legislative right to assert that my fear, the same fear that kicked you in the chest when I was pinned on your couch, was the result of your sexual threat, leaving my word against yours the solid ending to that particular event…never mind, in other words, that fear can oftentimes be more vulgar than lust and therefore more criminal. Never mind. We are all accountable for our own emotions.
I would love to state “if you instigate, you are responsible” but that just isn’t the case.
And so, dear men who don’t need me, what did you need? Did you get it?
Should I apologize for needing more from you than I even was able to recognize at the time of knowing you? No. I remain accountable by leaving you all alone. I am not crazy, I do not act crazy, I work very hard to remain within the realm of Rational. Perhaps I work too hard.
I put so much work into forgetting you, all of you, that your departures have actually affected my memory.
Looking back on my year, all I can remember are the men.
Looking back on my life, all I can remember are the men which is not right, it isn’t right that there were only men, I have spent my entire life completely terrified of men and now I can identify why: I am afraid to speak with men because I am afraid they won’t need me. That I will annoy you. That I will disgust you. That you will prefer someone else. That I will end up ashamed.
And it happens. Each time I speak with any of you. I end up ashamed, eventually and I spend so much time trying to deny the intensity of my emotional impulses that I think l have actually abolished entire parts of my brain, vacated completely just to “get over you” even amidst the smallest examples. I have missed out on entire experiences because I am focused on Not Being Hurt. What a waste of my head.
What have you done? And why am I so sure that you’ve forgotten about me while I’m sitting here writing about each one of you, hoping to recall the memories surrounding the “Events” of you? Why do you get to forget?
Do you know why murder is illegal?
Theoretically the state declares it illegal for us to play “God”. We are not allowed to decide when someone’s time on Earth is up. We are also not allowed to command someone else’s body. We are also not allowed to do anything that might impair someone else’s body (i.e. vehicular laws or laws pertaining to the fulfillment of our taxes). We are held accountable for physically degrading another human likely because there’s evidence of these cases.
It is very clear when someone is dead.
It can be proven (now, kind of) when someone has been assaulted.
Should you cause any kind of disharmony in the welfare system by evading your fiscal responsibilities to the state then, cue the handcuffs and the white collar alienation in prison.
Do not fuck with the body.
The body can prove it was fucked with.
The body can hold you responsible.
The body is proof.
But, hey: You can still manipulate my brain. There’s still hope for your cruelty, hey hey hey, you can still manipulate my brain—
No one is responsible for emotional trauma.
In fact, people do not know, or feign not knowing, that they have hurt us.
This morning, I sat in my desk chair and listed, on a piece of paper, all of the men I have ever either been with or almost been with or hoped to be with. I ended up with a list of names (sometimes descriptive nicknames, if names could not be remembered) of people, mostly men, who have truly made me understand that, if it weren’t for my body, they wouldn’t need me.
I remember the men vividly. I remember almost nothing else.
You’ve collapsed holes into my head.
My most vivid life memories include men. These memories take over. It’s as if my whole life has been spent with men but, believe me, it hasn’t.
I have lived most of my life alone, completely alone, without friends, without any companions whatsoever, let alone a man and then men who have come have come for a week or so but you are not my whole life.
The holes you have collapsed are the ones worth remembering and I cannot get to them.
I don’t remember my brother, I remember hoping one of his friends would fall in love with me.
The only real memory I have of my mom is the one where she gives me a speech about my breasts and I yell at her because “NO ONE WANTS THEM ANYWAYS MOM”, running up to my room to cry about my unattractive body for the millionth night of my life.
I don’t remember my father at all.
I have no memory of home.
Just these pieces, all of them arriving for a moment and then leaving. Each time you leave, you leave me with so much sorrow that my memory seemingly crumbles.
Is that intense and insane? NO. It isn’t. Because I control it. Because I control it so much that it spoils other parts of my head. I have repressed so much hurt for the sake of not acting crazy that I have actually lost my mind. And for what? For you? Fuck you.
What do I need from you?
What have I ever needed from you?
And what do you need from me?
I have never had the body you have needed.
I have been an easy opportunity but not worth coming back to, most of the time at least.
If you don’t need my brain, do me a favour and leave it alone.
If you don’t need my pit of emotional availability or my ability to love or my whatever, whatever it is that makes me ready to meet you, if you don’t want any of that, I don’t understand why, if I look at 2017, I don’t understand why so many men have come, engaged fully for a week and then just: Disappeared.
It isn’t that you come, have sex and never speak to me again (although…a couple of you…)
It’s more the act of arriving and then, whether or not we have sex, you seem so interested and then you just leave.
What do you need? What makes you stay? What else can I give you?
And what about that is fair?
How is it fair that you need more than I can give but I don’t need anything at all, in fact, even once you’ve left, I will continuously contact you just to maybe see if you happen to be too busy but still interested.
How is it fair that I’m so willing and I don’t even know what I need from you?
I don’t know why I want any of you.
I compile a memoir for the sake of memory.
I compile a memoir for the sake of getting rid of my memories, the only ones I really have and sharing them with the public, giving to the women who read me just so for a moment they can recognize: Oh yeah, we don’t need this.
We don’t need you.
Don’t give me that argument about sperm and babies. We can easily find sperm and we can raise each other’s babies.
I want memories. I want a brain.
I cannot sacrifice my intellect for the sake of a moment of validation.
Let me know why you need me.
Need. Truly need.
Because, I am sick of feeling needy just because you created a need and then disappeared.
Sick of it.
And I am sick of hiding that need just because I know you are hiding yours.
We either both need or we don’t know each other. Go away.
Today I will only speak to men who I am somehow related to.
The dog walker.
The rest of you: I’m still afraid and I think that’s just fucking fine.