The lounge room I study in, in between seeing clients, shares a communal wall with the back of a porn store’s video booths (fondly referred to as the ‘wank tank’). Whenever someone’s in a booth I hear muffled, over the top sex noises and I don’t think i’ll ever get used to researching for my thesis to the sound of fapping.
(The last time I posted this was a few years ago, in my semi-personal journal. I just stumbled on it again. It still rattles me that the most powerful examples of love writing I’ve read have come from paranoid, terrified fucks):
You’re going to leave me. I know you’re going to leave me. Like you left Laporte. Like you left Arif. I’ll be someone you call by his last name. Laporte didn’t look too good tonight at the Alhambra when he limped over to say hello to you. He didn’t want to give me his hand because it was so wet. He took the tips of my fingers and he smiled cheerlessly, as if to say: The greatest fuck you’ve ever had, the deepest love you’ve ever known, and she’s going to leave you very soon, you poor stunned sonovabitch. In the car you told me that his hands always get that wet when he has to meet people. You know his terrors, don’t you? As you know mine. We haven’t seen too much from Laporte lately, film-maker of a certain period, when you were his juice, when he was allowed to tie you up, and you commanded him to treat you like a slave. Then you told me to look at the moon, so I looked through the windshield at the moon. Then you told me to be impressed by the colour of the sky, so I applied myself to a study of the royal blue Paris sky. The turbaned Sikh assigned you, as he always does, the most impossible space in the garage, and when we walked past his window, he said, as he always does, The Champion of Parking. In the room you did sail so sweetly into my arms. I’m yours. For tonight. Your big joke. And my heart still leaps up between the declaration and the punchline. Like you left Laporte. Like you left Arif, and then slept with his twin brother. I leave them just before they leave me. It’s better that way, no? Not to have a crying girl on your hands. Okay, darling, you’re sleeping, the night has come to an end, and I’m nervous as hell. You’ll either read this by yourself one day, or we’ll be reading it together.
On the one hand, I think this is hilarious, because it means my almost flat chest is literally obscene. On the other hand, it only rubs in the knowledge that people have referred to my breasts as “underdeveloped”, despite my body clearly being that of a post-pubescent woman. Way to go, though, take my confidence down another notch or twenty by suggesting that my chest would only appeal to, what, paedophiles? Am I meant to think that the next person who sees me topless and likes it is really fantasising that I’m prepubescent?
And do my partners need to added social pressure of that bullshit - do they need to have that lurking in the back of the minds?
Of course I think about this kind of thing and of course I feel insecure about my breasts, given the expectation that breasts shouldn’t be tiny - an expectation that comes not just in porn, but what feels like everywhere - half the time dresses don’t fit me properly because designers seem to assume that a person my size must have substantial breasts.
I can lie all I want and say I don’t give a fuck, or I can be honest and say that I get scared now when someone I care about sees my breasts because I wonder whether they’re thinking they’re “underdeveloped” and whether it’s triggering any fucked up thoughts for them. (And here, I’m clearly going off topic and getting personal.)
This day, just a year ago, I thought I was walking towards a life and some structured future. I had a vague plan and that was a comfort. Now, today, my situation is like nothing I’d imagined. I need to learn to stop planning and to see everything as open, with no paths to follow and no one holding my hand. I’ll come to acknowledge that fuck-ups and missteps are not examples of regression. All the same, what I am doing today feels so different to where I was last year.
Being pushed down, slammed hard against a wall, water over my face, hand around my throat - nothing like last year.