17 December 2004

what you've taught me

friday night. just squeezed into my salmon-colored cords which i notice are tighter. they used to be looser. back when i was a marathoner. now i'm a sloth. not really, but being injured and not running for a month had me gain back a few pounds, which i needed. "too thin, too thin. are you eating?" people would ask me. i think i ate more the day before the marathon than i ever have in my life. i was eating something carb-based every hour. mmmmmmm. the best thing abt being an athlete is that you can eat whatever you want. yum.

so what have i been taught? i've taught i don't need to be stick-thin or a certain size to be perfect. in grade school, i was SO thin people would taunt me. skip to high school where a vegetarian track runner finds herself going, "oh doritos are vegetarian!" like those runs we'd do to the 7/11 by the train station, and eat doritos and drink the HUGE--i mean the biggest one if you've ever been to a 7/11, yeah that fucking HUGE one--slurpees on the platform, talking, gossing. and then feeling sick on the run back. and then of course my best friend is SO thin...in college she's modeling and i'm jealous. she says, "i would kill to have your tits. and look at my ass. so fat." i don't think we'll ever be satisfied. i mean, maybe men are different. t. says he's going to be bald but doesn't seem too concerned about it. m. has gray hair, started since he was in his teens. it makes him look cute.

we all have our issues. we hide behind these layers of NOT US. like makeup and rouge and lipgloss and gel and sweaters and jewelry and backpacks and books and 100% cashmere coats and whatever else is it that's really nothing more than an accessory in our lives: an accessory to us.

i remember this one time. we were lying in bed, perhaps we had just made love. we were naked, back when we lived in the dorms. i used to be one of those candy raver jewelry kids--tons of bracelets--jelly, beads, etc--necklaces, rings. hanging out with the candy ravers, exchanging bracelets and lollypops.

but then you said, "can i do something?"

i'd let you do whatever it is you wanted. you took off all my jewelry--bracelet after bracelet--bracelets half-way up my forearm; my rings, i was probably wearing a lot, my necklaces. and then you looked at me. i looked more naked. very slowly, in silence.

"now, this is you. you are so beautiful. without all that stuff. this is you."

and i knew this stuff all along but something clicked. i felt better somehow.

at the next raves i went to, i still hung out with the candy ravers, laughing at my friends, but instead of trading bracelets, i gave them away. i knew that i needed to only be true, to only stay who i am.

today i wear jewelry--what very little of it i own--but i realize that you can't hide. fancy hairstyles and all these little sidelines to your life--they're just an addition, not important. focus on you, who you are, and what you love to do.

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