Wednesday, July 25, 2007

She was the sort of woman

She was the sort of woman in whose face one could see her male relatives. She didn’t know this, though, and so at the bar with girlfriends she’d wonder why the boys would give her a quick look and then slide in next to not her. Or if one, for whatever reason, did slide in next to her, the next morning she’d wake and he’d be there but then go, a sort of look of panic on his face when in her face he saw her brothers. She’d look in the mirror, after they’d left, and wonder why; she’d tilt her chin up and to the side, then check her profile. She saw nothing, though, having for all her life looked at herself in the mirror, and indeed her brothers and father straight in the face; nothing looked off.

Save for one thing: her nose, which was not a bad nose; it was her grandfather’s hooked nose, and she loved her small, feisty grandfather—but she recognized nevertheless that this was not a woman’s nose, at least not an American woman’s. It would have looked OK on a Slavic peasant girl, evoking everyday nobility and feminine tenacity—but on her it declared itself too assertively, and assertive was not the current American female ideal.

So: she got it chopped off, planed down, turned up—retroussé. When it was done the boys slid in more often next to her and, mornings, didn’t leave so quickly. But in the mirror, into which she still of course looked daily, she now saw the difference. Absence announced itself: she no longer looked like the male members of her family. This made her sad in an odd way, mourning the loss of something she’d never been aware of ‘til it was gone, but also happy and damnedly free, cut loose from familial history and entirely her own as she studied the sidewalk’s flecks of mica while walking home in the cool city night.

4 comments:

Jake-Freedom said...

H: 2

J: 0

scram. said...

Just get published, damnit. It's high time. What if the internet goes out? Then how will we read your work? See. It just makes sense to get it in print. I'll fund it. I'll go from 48 to 56 hours a week at Chick-Fil-A. Surely that sort of income will cover a small publishing operation.

Joe said...

I disagree with Scram. Hunter's writing is loathesome, capricious and arbitrary. It creates a sense of horror in my heart of hearts and makes children cry out for their mothers. I weep for the day his words are put to print, for certainly the apocalyse is nigh.

(Jus' playin'...it's actually really good. Sad, but good.)

Jake-Freedom said...

Snfnff... Snnfnff, what? Oh, nevermind, I thought your blog was waking up from its eternal slumber... back to sleep...