Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Holy Body

My mom said that I am a woman.
But I think I’m not yet a woman.

I was a little young girl when my father left us. It was a nice day as usual, without rain or black clouds. The sun was shiny and the sky was blue. It happened so fast that I thought it was a daydream. When I opened my eyes, I saw my mom stood firmly in front of her bedroom, sobbed.

It was not until I reached the age of nine when I realized that everything was okay without my father, but not my mom. She drew herself in her bedroom every afternoon, locked the door, and did not come up until sunrise.

My mom was rare to speak. She spoke only twenty words in a day, like “Have you had your breakfast?” or “The lunch is on the table” and “I think I will sleep. I need a rest.” Her face turned pale and looked old, but I grew stronger – without a father.

…when I was ten…
I was not a bright student. I didn’t get teachers’ attention. I was unpopular, but I didn’t care. I liked to go to school because it was so noisy and alive. I liked to watch my friends were picked up by their mothers or fathers. When I watched them walking hand in hand with their fathers, I sniffed aloud. Sometimes my nose became watery and my eyes were red, but I knew that I had to be stronger than before.

…when I was thirteen…
My mom was brought to asylum. She tried to kill herself by blowing up our kitchen with the gas stove. I was a bit sad, but soon I thought that she was dangerous. So I lived alone in our small house. At school I didn’t have a friend. My only friend is my body. I usually talked to my fingers when I felt lonely. I shared my days to my reflection in a mirror. I talked to my whole body when I was sad. Sadder I was, I could lie on my naked body and cried all night long. I was so relieved to find a new friend to talk.

One day after school out, I ran out to home since I felt that my body wanted to talk to me. It was unusual and urgent. I thought that she had something to tell – something important. As soon as I got home, something eerie happened to my body and me. I screamed.

I saw blood. A blood clot. Dark thick blood. Everywhere. I was scared to death.
My bag fell off and hit the floor. The thudding sound of my bag was still echoing in my ears. And the world was falling down upon me. A huge darkness.


My mom thought I am a girl,
but I said I am not a girl anymore.

I had menarche.
Later on I knew that I was bleeding every month now. I knew too that my body wanted to tell that the little part down there also wanted to be listened, not only heard. She said that she was upset because she should ended the joy of childhood and began to swell monthly just to wash my woman body inside to be clean and ready to be sown. She was blooming now, creating her layers, one by one.

…when I was fifteen…
I had a strange dream.
I saw my father came home. He brought me a gift and my mom suddenly appeared and hugged him tightly. Soon, I opened the gift and found a finger, a middle finger of a man. It was so big that I assumed it belonged to a big guy before. Its flesh was freshly pink and its nail was shiny as I turned it around under the flickering bulb. Take it, my father said, you’ll like it, Hera. I nodded. Then I woke up sweating a lot.

…when I was fifteen and a half…
Miss White, my neighbor, told me that since I always had the ‘deep layers-cleaning’ every month, I was a woman – a big woman. She said that I had to ready about taking care of my little friend down there and must be aware of the boys.

Miss White said that boys were the straw and I was the bottle of lemonade with soda. The boys’ liked to put their straw into the bottle of lemonade, shook it hard to make bubbles, blew the bubbles and played it with their mouths, and then sucked the lemonade until its last drop. There was nothing left. Only the loud joyful burp remained.

Miss White looked very serious when she told me the story of the drinking straw and the bottle of lemonade with soda. Yet, I didn’t know what she meant.

…when I was seventeen…
I knew what Miss White meant.

I met a nice boy named Johnny. He was so smart and talkative. I spent my days and nights with him. I was rare to speak with my body like I did before, but I knew another way to communicate with other’s body. It was natural, just like what Miss White said about putting the straw and emptying the bottle. I began to adopt with the new changes in my body. My breast were bigger, my hips were larger. I also noticed that my inner part of my body was flourished when she was extremely happy.

Something strange happened to me again. Suddenly I felt tremendous feeling and unexpectedly turned it again upside down. My stomach swollen up and I was told that I would be a mother – a mom. I spoke to my huge belly everyday. I repeated all the rituals I did before: communicating with my woman body.

It took me only five months to talk because I had the bleeding again. More blood clots dripped so fast and flooded my feet. I was confused. Why did I always bleed? Why did I have so many holes in my body so that sometimes I couldn’t control my own body? I lost my child but I relieved to know that my body is holey.


I said to my mom,
“Being a woman is complicated because a woman has a holy body…”


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terimakasih ya sudah mampir dan menyapa kurakurakikuk :)

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