BLIP: Armpit

9:14 AM

I have been lying about my time.

I am busier lately which has helped me realize that I have been lying about my time.

I am really ugly when I lie.  I feel really ugly when I lie.

Up until lately, I think I have just been lying and feeling ugly most minutes of the day.

I am trying to figure out if most of my life has existed in the following cycle:

  1. Start the day worrying about my looks
  2. Spend time staring at myself and trying to drastically fix my appearance
  3. run out of time
  4. hurry to wherever I should be
  5. lie to everyone about being very busy and therefore not having called or replied to them or gotten done the things I said I would get done or maybe I didn’t show up for anything for a while because I was sitting in front of a mirror, I was just too busy sitting in front of a mirror, staring at myself and giving up
  6. Feel ugly
  7. Worry about my looks
  8. Repeat

 

I don’t feel ugly lately.

I recently decided only to do things with purpose.

If there is no point to what I am doing, fuck it.

Maybe the point is small and obscure, fine, but if there is no point to what I am doing or eating or buying or watching or touching or wishing for: Let it go.

The exercise is torturous.

Mindfulness can be:  Torturous.

This morning I was eating a banana.

There was only truly a point to half the banana.  The rest of the banana was too much banana.  It’s sitting on my counter, still.  I might feed it to my dog.  Regardless, it took a mindful approach to eating to realize:  I don’t even want this entire banana.

What is the point of eating the entire thing?

What is the point of anything I have done up until right this moment?

 

When I was little, eight or nine, I begged my mother to put me in dance classes.

My rationale was simple:  Everyone is doing it.

I want to clarify: I hate dancing.  Choreography mystifies me. I just don’t understand the communal possibilities and comfort level involved in “dance”. I:  Hate it.  Dance: I hate you.

Nine years old, I beg my mother to put me in dance classes.  For at least three years, everything I did came from wanting to be just like the girls in my dance class.

I would go to dance class after school.

No one I went to dance class with went to my school.

At school I would tell everyone stories from dance class.  Lies.  I would show people dances, making them up as I went, making up entire leaps and turns, giving fancy names to fictional dance steps and lying, completely lying about the validity of anything I was presenting.

Puberty hit me early.

Hair began growing.  I was well aware that I had armpit hair and the leotards we were required to wear did not even come close to covering up my blossoming bikini  line.

I started wearing leotards with shorts.

I begged my mother to let me shave my armpits.

She told me no because I was too young, my skin too sensitive and the hair would only grow back worse (I also suspect that she didn’t want to leave a depressive preteen alone with a pack of razors).  She promised to take me to have my armpits waxed.

I yelled at my mother.

I may have yelled at my mother a lot when I was young.  I grew up nurturing some emotional….blips and so it seems likely I yelled at her a lot but for some reason, the armpit hair incident stands out.

I yelled at my mother because the boys at school had bullied me for being hairy and I couldn’t believe that she didn’t understand my desperation.

I left the car, fuming, crying and promising that if she were to come back to pick me up, I would not get in the car.

When she came back, she had a pack of lady’s disposable Bic razors.

She told me, without showing me, how to use them.  I was too scared to try.  I didn’t shave.  Instead, I developed the opinion that my hair didn’t exist.

Age eleven.  I have convinced my mother to let me compete as a dancer.

I am so bad at dance, I am bad at all dance but, probably for the sake of gaining my mother’s money, the school let me compete with them in a “musical theatre” number wherein I played a spider in a full black body suit with fury legs sticking out from all regions, completely covered, completely ridiculous and very very ugly.  The title of the piece was “the ugly buy ball”.   I was an ugly bug.

I felt momentarily great being chosen.  I felt momentary pride.

The feeling went away.

There was no point to me performing as a dancer. I didn’t love dance.  I was never going to excel at dance.  I didn’t like the girls, they weren’t nice to me and I felt ashamed of myself every time I was dropped off, opting to be a part of something that made me a lot uglier than I was.  I was an ugly bug.

There was no point. It didn’t help me to be there.

But, I lied about it to everyone I knew.  The lies made me feel powerful.  The lies gave me something to tell people about myself.  The lies brought me out of my shell.  The entire point of me learning how to dance was so that I could lie to everyone I knew about being a great dancer.

I was a shy kid.  Previous to dance, I hardly ever uttered a word.  After dance class, I had lies to tell.  There was no point to dancing.  There was only a point to the stories I would tell.

Competing in dance was the beginning to the end of my dance career.

In order to compete, I had to take ballet.

Up until “competing”, I would take a jazz class with a brilliant woman who left the school the year I started dancing competitively and I would take “modern” dance from a woman named Colleen who would bang a drum and be fabulous in the kind of way I knew I wanted to be forever.  Allison and Colleen were wonderful women and perhaps gentle positive influences when I was young but, when I started competing, a nasty brother/sister dance teacher duo took over my education.  It all ended in shame when I was forced to take ballet.

I took beginner’s ballet.  I was eleven and everyone in the class was six.  We could not wear leotards with shorts in ballet.  We had to wear pink leotards and pink tights.

If you’ve never worn a pink leotard and pink tights, let me give you a tip:  Wax your cunt ahead of time.

Standing at the bar, in front of the mirror, staring straight at myself, I looked up into the light because I could not deal with how grotesque I was.  I was not a dancer.

The armpit hair was true horror every time I spread my arms to chassé and a bashful combination of patterned cotton panty and dark brown pubic hair was jutting out from beneath my leotard.  I was not a dancer.

I was fatter than everyone there.

I had breasts already.

I had hips.

My hair could not be smoothed down.

I was, I am not, a dancer.

At the time, it made me cry.

I thought, “But I have told everyone that this is what I do, that this is what I Am, I have told everyone.  They all know and if they all know they will never forget—”

The class ends.  The teacher tells me that the studio is no place for tears.  I say nothing on my way home.

Sitting in my room, thinking about lying, I realize:  Of course no one has believed one word I have said, no one believes I am a dancer, look at me look at me, I am not a dancer and they all know and I lied and they all know I lied—–Because I am ugly.”

Pointless.

I felt pointless.

The lies were suddenly pointless which meant that dancing was pointless.

I had wasted so much of—–everything I could possibly think of.

I was a waste of time.  Because I was a lie.

This was the evening I learned that if I tighten a hair elastic around my wrist, tight enough for long enough, I will lose circulation in my hand.  That was the evening I learned I was ugly.

There’s nothing to do but cry about it now.

It isn’t sad, right, it’s just hollow, it’s as if I went missing for those three years, it’s as if my childhood, my growing up was just a series of Misses.

After ballet, I became a basketball player, obsessively.  I was terrible but I was the captain of the team because I convinced everyone that I was truly a basketball star.

I became an actress.

Of course now I am a writer.  Which finally makes sense.

Most of being a writer, though, is sitting and finding the point to not being anything at all.

Naked, maybe, mirror, maybe, but just:  How do I give myself a purpose that has nothing to do with my body?  Is purpose important?

I used to be a dancer.

It wasn’t a lengthened experience but I used to be a dancer.  I moved. I was in class. Until my body proved to me that I wasn’t a dancer, I was a dancer.

Same with basketball.

Same with acting.

Now I am a writer and the freak thing about being a writer is, you use your entire body without ever moving it, once.

I sweat when I write.

My armpits stink by the end of the day.

The force of purpose produces a tension so vivid, that my body needs relief.

I am busy. I am using time.

The whole point of writing is nothingness.

The whole point of writing is existence.

Does it matter if I’m ugly?

No.

I’ll never be ugly again.

Because, I will never lie to you again.

Because, the whole point to my being is honesty and I don’t have time to betray my purpose.

I have run out of time, I am finally using time.

It occurs to me that I should still make sure you agree that I’m beautiful.

Beauty brings voice.  We listen to people who are beautiful.

But, since I only have time to show up, we’ll all just have to agree, that beauty becomes she who arrives with honest intention.

It’s really important to be beautiful.  Here’s how it’s done:

Grow out your bush and wear a pink leotard.