Cropps

The more things change

She has a routine.

It’s performed, to perfection, each and every time.

First, a shower.

Hot, but quick. No wasted water. She always makes sure to have shaved her legs the day prior, and only grazes a razor underneath her arms.

Stepping out of the porcelain bath, she rubs a towel up and down the length of her legs, before wrapping it tight around her torso.

Her skin, pink. It tingles.

She takes another towel and wraps it around her hair. After applying moisturizer to her face, she walks to the bedroom, always on her tiptoes so to stretch out her calves.

Underwear is black lace. Bra is thin mesh, some pink, but mostly black. Simple underwire. No padding.

She paints her face lightly, but deftly.

Concealer, blush, mascara.

A dark stain on her top and bottom lip.

She has never had the patience for eyebrows. The length of her eyelashes will play interference, should anyone get that close.

When someone gets that close.

She drinks a glass of acorn wine and hums a tune to which she can’t ever remember the words.

Her dress skims the tops of her knees. Its sleeves light as air.

Never stockings. Just a thin layer of shine that she applies with both hands.

Two minutes under the sun lamp and her hair has dried into soft autumn waves.

She leaves her glass, unwashed next to the kitchen sink.

Shoes, black. Heels.

Coat, long. Longer than her dress.

Her phone, IDs, and keys, bundled together into a small, well-worn purse.

She can feel the tears coming. Feel them rising from the pit of her stomach.

They are the ache of a cut never healed. Of a burn never cooled.

They are what she hopes to forget. What she seeks in the night’s lights and the pulse of others.

Walking to the tram, she opens the program.

Who would you like to erase?

She plugs in a name, and watches him fade.

Her heart twinges.

Can you miss someone you never knew? Are they gone if they were never there?

Questions she can’t ever solve.

On the tram, the other riders mill about, chittering like under-sexed chicadees.

The echoes of conversations bounce off of fidgety fingers and nervous smiles.

A young man sits down to her left and asks her to where is she going.

The compulsion to kiss his stupid mouth brings a flush to her cheeks.

“Nowhere.”

At the club she makes her way to the front of the room.

Standing close to the stage, she feels the music grind its way under her skin.

Her heart hurts with each beat. Like it might punch through her chest.

She dances.

It takes thirty minutes for the man to come to her. She cannot ever hear, because the base chips away at his words.

He motions to her face. To her body and hair.

She says nothing.

Her smile, tight.

She closes her eyes.

Resigns herself.

Resigns herself to her complicity for existing in this world.

She does nothing when he grabs her. He kisses her neck, grinds his groin into her ass, and brushes her breasts.

He then leaves, upset.

And she just stands there, feeling nothing.

No anger, or shame, or sadness.

Just emptiness.

Because this, and nothing else, will ever matter ever again.

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I’m just a girl in the world

Of late, I’ve been listening to a lot of Taylor Swift.

Well, only one song really, but let’s not mince words. Blank Space is a bloody pop masterpiece of the highest order, and no one will ever be able to convince me otherwise.

Don’t even try it, ya jerks!

Because you all might as well resign yourself to the fact that, inevitably, we all must bow down to T. Swift, bubble gum goddess that she is.

So get your shin pads out.

The future is here.

I’m not sure about any of you, but I just listen to this stuff and immediately I am once again eighteen years old, filled to the brim with cusp-of-adulthood angst, heart-wrenching love, and mind-boggling lust.

The compulsion to jump in a car and just drive as far and as fast as I can is almost too difficult to control. So mostly I dance about the house in the most ridiculous and flamboyant of fashions, with Marc and Nymeria taking up the rear.

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They’re good partners in my insanity.

I’ll tell you, another thing that makes me feel like a confused, silly teenager is having the brilliant luck of finding my diary from grade 10, 11, 12, and my first year of undergrad.

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Holy hell was I one heck of a kid.

I spent about an hour yesterday reading excerpts aloud to Marc and just generally laughing my face off.

Marc too got a huge kick out of my daily captures of what it mean to be Vanessa Woznow, seventeen years of age.

Choice entries include:

June 2002

Holy shit Friday is just never going to come. I seriously am going to go completely insane (I am already halfway there, I can feel it!) Soon I will be sitting outside in a lawnchair and throwing spoons at all of the people who pass by, cursing them for their new fangled ways. EDADS. I talk like Mr. Lodge in the Archie comics. Call the medics I tell you!!! I miss Mark [ed. note: high school boyfriend], and I just want to get my damn vacation started with. [Redacted] gave me a ride to my socials exam. Made me feel bad about never phoning him. I really hate that. I got 90% on my math final, so I ended up with 88% in the course, which isn’t too bad. My socials final was so funny, some of the questions really killed me. I laughed really hard and was so tempted to put down that sexism was one of the causes of WWI. 

There were some questions on the test that I was just like WHAT THE FUCK!? How are we supposed to know THAT? I even asked Ms. [Redacted] whether or not she had taught that subject in the class and she just looked at me said “No.” before smiling and walking away. That killed me too. That’s classy as hell. I am really going to miss having [Redacted] as an English teacher. She’s really hilarious! I think I might buy her Chicken Soup for the Teacher soul. I think she might like it.

I’ve realized that sometimes my writing really reflects that of Holden’s in Catcher in the Rye. LOVE that book. Old Holden gets my goat, he is just damn hilarious.

JUST DECIDED. Going into writing when I graduate!!!

p.s. What to do for six month anniversary??

I also used the journal quite a bit as a scrapbook, for all of the ticket stubs and play bills of either the shows I went to, or acted in myself.

IMG_20141130_093531There is also a lot of BAD poetry.

IMG_20141130_092251(I can’t actually bring myself to publish a large photo of this gut-busting rubbish.)

However, I did kind of dig this little ode:

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I actually remember writing this ditty in my grade 12 math class. For a laugh, I used to always write poems for one of my best friends. Rosy was (and still is, to this day) one of the most beautiful, caring souls I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and I always wanted to either make her laugh, or make her smile, and as such, was compelled to write her stuff like this.

A large portion of the book is dedicated to my falling in love with Marc, and the early days of our courtship:

IMG_20141130_092548 IMG_20141130_092455 IMG_20141130_092417I can tell you, I absolutely loved that sweater. I actually get the goofiest smile just thinking about it, and I swear that my heart is beating just the littlest bit faster.

Unfortunately, there is also a large (VERY large in fact) portion of the book dedicated to chronically my eating disorder. In no uncertain terms do I take any pains to disguise this reality. Many pages are just lists of what I ate, how much I exercised, and how much of what I ate ended up in the bottom of a toilet bowl.

Scintillating reading it may be not, but still, it serves as a salient reminder of what it meant to live with this illness, and how far removed my present-day life is from these very real, and very hard struggles.

IMG_20141130_093439My heart too beats a little faster seeing these pages, for of course, incredibly different reasons.

Still, it’s all one. This is the girl who I was.

If she hadn’t existed, I wouldn’t be the person (girl, woman, epic pop-loving running champion of life) that I am today.

And I wouldn’t trade this for the world.

And if I had to put a wager on it, I bet Taylor would feel exactly the same way.