Question: What, in your opinion, is the main difference between men and women?
To be scared or not to be…the difference between the fearsomes and the things that are feared. There’s a monster in the crawlspace, there’s a door that won’t latch, do these clothes make an outfit, have I made the right choice, there’s a randomly crashing car in the front yard, I’m sure school’s going to be too hard, again there won’t be any free time, and there’s always nothing to do, all at the same time there’s boredom and too busy.
Will there be a how for the boy who was trapped? And what explaining the noise rhythmically sounding in the ceiling up above me? A when for this getting much easier? And where that ends the searching? A why for the house catching fire? A who who’s been implicated with explaining to do? There are the things that dwell to scare and between confidence and confusion there are the misunderstandings defining the moments that are shared. Will it be easy, will it be hard, will this moment be remembered or be dismembered by the monsters that chase you, and the monsters that surround me. It’s in these misunderstood understandings where the monsters become truly astonishing and astounding.
The main difference between men and women.
I asked my son what he thought. He said, “What? Beyond the obvious?”
It is pretty obvious most of the time. The times when it isn’t, tend to be the exception.
When I was a tomboy before my breasts grew in, sometimes strangers had that doubt looking at me. The flat chest under the striped shirt, dungarees, dirt layer and worn down sneakers.
“That’s a good-looking boy, Mrs. Martin.”
I can’t say I couldn’t decide whether to celebrate or cry. Indeed I felt a piercing sense of shame and was angry with myself because of it. Oh, why did I have to be born a girl?
Told to keep my legs together instead of splayed out like the young healthy animal I was.
Things changed after puberty for me.
The egalitarian beliefs my parents taught me were as nothing compared to the chaotic hormone storms of everyday high school and almost inescapable peer pressure.
I did escape, however, to the refuge of the great world of books.
Years later, I emerged, prompted by the nagging of my gonads, and through the miracle of hormones produced the family that has shaped my life.
The landscape of gender.