Angry and bald

I rode the subway to work this morning, 13 stops. It’s Saturday. A man got on my car, screaming about how big his dick was. He kept saying “fuck all of you. My balls are king kong’s balls. I’ll kill every one of you. I’m going to fucking kill you.” At the next stop, I switched cars. At the next stop, so did he. He kept screaming. He kept threatening me and the other passengers with physical and sexual violence. I changed cars again. So did he. I ran multiple cars away. The train tried to leave without me. I jammed my arm in the door and waited seconds for the conductor to open the doors. I rode a few more stops without the man. When I got off at my stop, I looked behind me every five steps, hoping he wasn’t following me.

Part of being a woman is being threatened. We are not surprised by threat. I am not surprised when someone threatens to rape me in public, the same way I’m not surprised when I walk by a man in the street and he looks me up and down and imagines me naked, prone, at his mercy.

I dated older men when I was young. Pedophiles. I thought they liked me for my personality. Maybe that’s true; maybe the innocence everywhere was compelling. One was 45 to my 19. He told quoted Keats to me, “beauty is truth.” That meant “I only date models.” I was thin because I subsisted on Coors Light, cigarettes, and buttered bagels. I was a nervous wreck, a full-blown alcoholic, a timid, natty animal, thirsty for anything. He tried to convince me to quit my retail job where I made $9.25 an hour and become a cocktail waitress at a club in the meatpacking district. He brought me to an expensive restaurant with another friend, a short Indian man who owned an airline, a millionaire. He looked at me skeptically when I inhaled the entire bread basket. I was hungry, and he wasn’t used to seeing women eat.

This is the year for women and feminism. It’s really easy to buy a T shirt now, announcing your activism. We elected a rapist to the presidency of the United States.

I’ve been hiding from news and social media for a year. The daily anxieties are crippling. A woman is raped every 4 or 5 seconds. The fact of Harvey Weinstein. The fact of Bill Cosby. Matt Damon opening his mouth.

Opening Instagram is a bitter pill. Women with 40,000 followers hocking diet shakes for flat bellies. People curating their lives with zeal and vigor. Impossibly happy, cooking things from scratch, going on vacation, loving their husbands or boyfriends without resentment. Women getting pregnant. Kardashians. Artists more successful than you. Everyone is doing so well. Otherwise it’s something about wine, which is called “mommy juice.” Another hilarious take on the daily urgency for global novocaine.

I heard a man tell a rape joke in an alcoholic recovery meeting once. I heard another white man talk about how, at his lowest moment, he was indistinguishable from a black man. There is no such thing as a safe space.

We are all implicit in the American Disaster. The idea that this country was built on the premise of freedom is a decrepit, insulting lie. It was built on the oppression, slaughter and rape of anyone who was not white or, to a lesser degree, male.

We congratulated ourselves when we elected Obama. Then we chose Donald Trump over a woman. My Apple news app shifts from Trump’s latest tweet, the threat of impending nuclear war, to a tantalizing teaser of a headline- do I want to know how Chrissy Teigen looks, newly pregnant AND in a bikini? This is our world. We all might burn to hell today, Dante’s blazing inferno, but Donald has a longer, fatter dick than Kim Jong-un, which could better satisfy a woman. And just in case today is not the day an atom bomb floats like a feather into the heart of Times Square, try to make more recipes your husband enjoys. Try not to get fat while you’re pregnant.

The guy on the train this morning won’t stop me from taking the train again tomorrow. I will get up and go to work. I’ll try not to think about the man who showed me his gun five years ago, or the one who, twenty years ago, showed me his Donald Trump.

I shaved my head when I got home tonight. My husband took a picture and said, “you look angry.”

I am angry. Angry and bald.

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The 10th Circle of Hell: Postpartum Yoga

Welcome to class! Find a comfortable position, close your eyes, and relax.

It is so great that you finally got away from the baby, not that you would ever, you know, not want to be near your baby for five minutes. You read that article about attachment parenting, right? So good. I think we can all agree that going to the mailbox without your baby will probably cause severe emotion problems and bipolar disorder. I slept in my mother’s bed until I went off to graduate school at the Institute of Graceful Bending, and now I’m dating Jude Law’s younger brother who has hair.

Relax and remember, you are in a safe place. The great thing about Equinox gyms is that no one really sweats here? Well except you, but maybe that’s because you wore such a large sweatsuit. Is somebody wearing… barbeque sauce? It smells like ribs in here. I hope no one brought food into class, because I’m allergic to dairy, wheat, alcohol, soy, tree nuts, farmed fish, cheap textiles, and scientific literature. I love juicing so much!

Okay. Surya Namaskar, sun salutation time, guys. Stand at the front of your mats, and then hop or pedal your feet back, coming into downward dog.

Very strong pose, Pringle, just tighten up those hamstrings a little. I’d move them for you, but you’re just too tall! You look amazing, by the way. How old is little Taylee now? 4 weeks? Wow! Well of course she’s sleeping through the night already; your breastmilk is powered by flax, chia, and walnut oil. It’s definitely all about the omega-3’s. I can’t believe you’re back to a double zero size already. Thank Buddha you can get your Lululemon’s customized these days.

Focus on the breath, and exhale into Warrior 1. Nice, guys.

It’s okay if you’re the only person in the class who needs to go into child’s pose every 5 minutes. No one here is judging you. We are just all looking at you to make sure you’re okay. Are you still breathing? It’s really hard to tell with that huge sweatsuit and your more elaborate size. By the way, I think you’re so brave for coming here. Namaste. Oh, you have a little something in your hair here. Ohmygod, is that baby feces? I’m going to need you to buy that mat, okay. Wow.

Core work! Did anyone here have a C-section? No, right? I gave birth at home in a tub of organic eucalyptus flowers, which bloomed the moment my son crowned. I was in labor for THREE HOURS, which sounds so long but really was okay because I just meditated and let my inner goddess guide me. I had a huge orgasm when he came out, and then I had the best quinoa salad. He breastfed no problem.

Oh, really? You had a C-section? I believe we are all entitled to let our intuition guide us, so okay, but wow that really sucks for you huh? Did you try to have a real birth first at least? I should send you this article I read in The Homeopathic Guide to What You’re Doing Wrong, though. I have a monthly subscription. It might change your life.

Savasanah, guys. Lie down in corpse pose, and just totally relax. I’m going to come around and rub some essential oil on your temples, because this room is really starting to smell like lasagna. Seriously, does someone have food in their bag? Because I read this study about why carbs are bad and basically, they stop your brain from functioning. It’s like your neurons see a bagel and are just, bye.

Begin to bring awareness back to your body, like, all of it. You guys did so good today. Most of you seem to really love this new motherhood thing, and are really great at it. If it’s still super hard for you, maybe try reading some more articles and getting more exercise. It’s a really bad time to be so lazy.

Ommm.

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