“Everyone thinks writers must know more about the inside of the human head, but that’s wrong. They know less, that’s why they write. Trying to find out what everyone else takes for granted.”—Margaret Atwood (via ondownthemountain)
“Men always say that as the defining compliment: the Cool Girl. She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means that I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.
Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see these men - friends, coworkers, strangers - giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much - no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version - maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: ‘I like strong women.’ If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because ‘I like strong women’ is code for ‘I hate strong women.’)
I waited patiently - years - for the pendulum to swing the other way, for men to start reading Jane Austen, learn how to knit, pretend to like cosmos, organize scrapbook parties, and make out with each other while we leer. And then we’d say, Yeah, he’s a Cool Guy.
But it never happened. Instead, women across the nation colluded in our degradation! Pretty soon Cool Girl became the standard girl. Men believed she existed - she wasn’t just a dreamgirl one in a million. Every girl was supposed to be this girl, and if you weren’t, then there was something wrong with you.”—
she finds window panes in my forehead, kitchen sinks
in my eyes, dirty laundry puddling at her feet.
i show her my hands like an open floor plan. i show her
my chewed nails and the split ends on my split ends
and the cigarette burn inside my cheek.
i give her a fistful of my ex-lovers
warnings that she throws like confetti.
i show her the ugly i am capable of.
i point to the stalled shower drain and say this is
my life and she tries to unclog it with her teeth.
she tells me she loves me, but i found a boys hair
in the rough drafts of her poems. i realize
i am difficult to love. i realize loving me
is like unclogging a drain. when i ask if she could make a home
out of me, she shakes her head like my bedroom is a swim lesson
she’s drying off from. she says home is not a person, but an emotion. do you feel home? she asks me. i don’t know. my head is someone
else’s living room. everyone is late for supper. no one bothers to leave
their shoes at the front door. no one remembers how the mud sticks.”—WHILE LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO LIVE,by Blythe Baird (via blythebrooklyn)
It is a Saturday night. I am at a party where I do not belong,
half blinded by eight shots of bootlegged whiskey.
I am a hot, fresh seventeen. The boy I want
to stop wanting whispers that I should kiss a woman.
For him. He points one out. She is dancing,
four feet in the air with her hands on the ceiling.
A bartender is looking up her skirt. This
is the story of how I fingered a stranger on,
and promptly fell from, the bar at Alpha Gamma Rho.
When I wake, sore and cloudy in the boy’s arms,
it seems that I can no longer masquerade as a straight woman.
A sprained ankle hurts like a mother
who delivers blind condemnations.
It is too easy to stay quiet, to hide your weekends
from a Catholic family. It is too easy to kiss girls
at frat parties, to let whiskey be your social justice,
to exchange a woman you love in the evening
for a masculine hand to hold by daylight.
Do not let the movies fool you—
a night like this does not taste like the revolution.
It tastes like Jameson, like vomit, and a little
like a speechless car ride with your mother. It tastes like too many
almost-sentences, like jokes without punchlines.
Tastes like so much talk of phases that even your reflection
looks like the least honest lunar eclipse you’ve ever seen.
Tastes like the last time you saw
that boy who left you, the God-fearing one
you don’t talk about anymore; how he spat his love
onto your shoes when you told him what you were, like he thought
maybe your sense of self worth needed shining.
Tastes like a poster in a boy’s bedroom of two women
covered in soap who paw at each other but stare at the camera.
Two women who grope at the love of a spectator
they will never need to meet. It is a joke without a punchline:
Two women climb onto a bar. One falls off.
They both go home with boys.”—