I want my sexy back, my me back, my spot, my center, my shooting star, my familiar feels, my vibes, my don’t stop now, my choo-choo train, my hips rolling and eyes flashing and head lolling, my who’s that, my dangerous rhythm. Did it actually leave or did I imagine it leaving? Did I chase it away with thoughts about time? Did I stop seeing it in the mirror or did it vanish? Is it right there and I’m blind? Am I afraid to look at it? Did I stop believing in it, did I give it the short shrift, did I move on to something else, but I’m still holding onto the edge of the old? Am I afraid to let go and see new stuff, different stuff, know stuff that’s been there all along waiting stuff. I liked the way I was, before. I didn’t have to think so hard even though I did, because I always think so hard, because I believed thinking would free me –- it doesn’t.
My therapist recently said, “You don’t ever have to feel humiliated.” What?!! He said it again. “You don’t deserve to be, and you don’t ever have to feel humiliated, ever.” Deserve? What do I deserve? Hmmm…. To be crunched down under someone’s stare, shoe, and worse than that, their indifference. I can’t stop thinking about it, “I don’t ever have to be humiliated.” How?! It’s under my skin. It’s always there, peeking, waiting, an email comes my way, a phrase wafts through the air, a look, they were late to the Zoom call. Here I am! familiar, crowing humiliation. Maybe you do deserve it. Maybe you brought it on. Maybe it’s for you. Sexy, no. Depleted, yes.
The wallpaper in my bedroom from ages 11 to 17 was lime green, yellow and white. Bright lime green vines climbed up the wall intersecting, dotted with green and yellow flowers along the way on a white background. I spent hours and hours and days and days staring at that paper, trying to follow the vine, thinking there was some sense to it. I’m not a yellow and bright green person, I don’t think I was then, more of a deep reds and blues, and black and white kind of girl, but I hadn’t understood that yet. When asked to pick out the paper for the room of the new house I had to move to reluctantly (which would also be my mom’s sewing and ironing and laundry area, separated by a partial wall, ugh!) I picked that sunny shit. I can still see it, kind of daring me. Figure out the damn wallpaper, stupid. If you can’t make sense of a wallpaper pattern how do you think it’s going to be outside this window when you get a little older. I don’t know.
But then I stepped out anyway. I had some mojo, some cool, some come-on-over-here, some I-can-handle-this, some I-like-you, some brave flick-my-hair-and-don’t-look-back, a motor that ran in all directions, all times of day, definitely a standard shift, not an automatic. Run it as high as it will go in first gear and then jam into second, third, fourth and push it.
I want my sexy back. You can blame it on time, but I don’t think that’s it. Is it the itchy bits right under the surface. It is hiding behind that non-committal mirror. Is it quietly waiting for me to catch up with it, to give it a go, to pierce the air, to stop holding on to the sides, to let it rip?