P.W.F. Reflection: Slave is a subjective word

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I’m not the kind of woman that men go to war over. No, instead they sent me to war. Hell, most people don’t even notice when I walk in the room – unless societal politeness compels them. I’m not blonde. I have plain mouse-brown hair with muting gray highlights. I don’t exude sexuality. No, I exude plainness. Any sexuality I once owned was sucked dry by vampiric men long ago. I certainly don’t have people writing poetry about me. I’m not graceful. I fall often. My body has so many scars, folks shake their heads in wonder I’m not dead. I wonder, too.  I am not an eloquent speaker. I cuss and swear and spice my dialogue with dropped g’s and ain’t’s and the slang du jour. My skin is pale like moonlight. Not inviting and warm or rich. My nose sits crooked and misshapen by heredity and accidents and more than one abuse. Smiles most days come slow to me, my teeth imperfect and stained from years of abuse from caffeine and nicotine and dental paranoia. My gray eyes don’t sparkle or have fluttering long eyelashes. No honey flecks or alluring almond shape to line with kohl. No elegant fingers to play the cello. I chew them into submission instead. My hearing is convoluted right now with constant ringing. Earrings just catch my clothing and scratch my lobes. Breathing without hesitation and antihistamines is not possible any more. My youthful world was polluted and gray and bleak. Such a past shrouds my health.  There is no coin in my purse. No black in my bank. People ask what is wrong or say they are worried, but I don’t feel sincerity with their words. I feel marginalized. Yet many say, “Oh white girl! That is not for you.” My lack of identifiable diversity makes me not embraceable. Again my experience is trivialized. I debate. I am shushed. “Child, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” How do I not know my own experience? It becomes a scale of my people versus their people. Who are my people? I have no true tribe. The human race only, I see. Don’t judge, they say. Yet, they judge. My skin betrays my actual experience. I don’t understand what line from which I descend, for there are many. This world, it seems to be producing a Diaspora of human beings. No matter their genetic make up. No matter their wealth. Period. But I can’t make others see. I try to grasp onto grace, but it sprints away to those with many bracelets and sandaled feet, whose stunning skulls are exquisite even without hair. Yet they have magnificent manes all the same. They are allowed to be positive despite the unattractive past. While I try to embrace that Zen-like loveliness, I am perceived as unreliable and undesirable. “Why do you behave so abnormally?” I’m asked. But wait, didn’t you say this is how one should live? Oh, that’s only for you? When I started to notice this injustice I was so angry. But the anger solves nothing. It changes not a thing. It just makes me an angry plain white female. Few find that fascinating, attractive or of value.

I sit here trying to make sense of it all. To take away something useful and worthy and move forward in evolution as a species. Achieve all that I can, should be the goal. One mission that benefits many not just the one should be in the sights. But all I can see is the plainness of me — nothing unique to give me a voice or place from which to be listened.

So I remain silent. I continue to suffer. I am shamed into a new kind of slavery.

stephen matlock

Writing is one of the most powerful things you can do. Until you post on paper, the words – and the worlds – don’t exist. It is a place where the boundaries are only the margins of the paper – there is nothing else. You can write anything you want.

Stop telling me who I am.

Let me tell you who I am, not just what I wish or what I avoid.

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