When Someone Pulls Your Covers

Pulling someone’s covers (idiom): to reveal their true character.

I wasn’t ready to have my cover blown. Who is? There I am peacefully swiping left, and occasionally right, thinking I am pretty hot shit because of all the cute young guys who still want to fuck me even though I’m 41. Yeah that’s me- the female Peter Pan. Wait, there is no female Peter Pan, unless you count the fact that he’s almost always played by women.

I qualify to play that role, even though I have an apartment and a bank account and bills. Also children I have to groom, feed hay… and muck out their rooms. Still I have studiously refused to grow up. I am, in many ways, still a baby. A giant adult baby who believes she can fly.

Motherhood has clipped my motherfucking wings yo, but then so have I. I have consistently clipped my own wings, in sometimes terrible ways. Life clips all of our wings and each year we watch ourselves becoming increasingly more TIRED. Stooped. Broken. No wonder I fucking hate old people.

I don’t want to see that reflection in the person I am with. Because the truth is that when you take off all my accouterments, I am not what I appear to be. I have not been taking good care of myself, and even if I figure out how to start doing that again, this shit is not going to hold forever. I HAVE AGED SINCE I STARTED WRITING THIS. And yes, not only am I yelling at you now, I am also slamming really hard at my keyboard because I don’t have motherfucking arthritis yet.

Is it so wrong that when I look at a guy, and he at me (in low lighting) I wish to see in him the promise of youth? Men have been trading women in for younger models for a hundred years (maybe more, I’m not clear on 19th Century May-December relationships) but I do know many cultures (Asian, African, European) where young girls are married off extremely young to disgusting older men.

While this is an atrocity that needs to be stamped out if we even dare to call ourselves a civilized society, while it has caused these young girls to commit suicide, or try to escape and then be punished for it, or refuse and be put to death, on another level, I GET IT. I understand why someone would be with someone much younger – BECAUSE THEY CAN.

Because they loathe themselves so much that someone closer to their age would render them insane with self-loathing. Because the mirror does not lie, and mortality cannot be avoided, except by gazing in the face of someone much younger than yourself, and convincing yourself you’re just like them, even though you are not. And this is not something I really wished to see about myself – my similarity to men who take child brides in Afghanistan. Not on a random fucking Thursday.

I understand the patriarchy’s resistance to giving up what they see as their “power” (if dominance were actually power) to take what they want when they want it, even in this country where we have legal marriage-age laws that are reasonable in most states. Because why would they? Why would someone willingly surrender something that may be the only thing they have, when their sense of self is so hollow?

What I want to know is where is the island of women who can force much younger male lovers to be with them? (Because Demi Moore cannot be her own island.) Or older women to younger women? I want this place to at least exist, before we can all call for its abolition on moral grounds.

Sometimes for whatever reason (the universe, you knave, you trickster, you) someone throws a PERSON in your path, who busts you on your bullshit without saying a single word. Without criticizing you, or pointing out your flaws, or doing anything remotely hurtful. Sometimes, they can just do it with a cocked eyebrow. Or a text that says “Huh.” Mostly, they do it just by being who they are.

Ladies and gentlemen, I wish to make it a matter of public record that I do not want to relinquish even one dram of my ego, though it is HUGE so you’d think I could spare some. I do not know who I am without it, because even with it I sometimes hardly know who I am. I want to un-see all of that dusty mess under the bed, but I can’t.

Just hook me up to that harness and I will fly over the stage, fear of heights notwithstanding. Whatever you do, just don’t let me land. Let me sit with young dudes in low lighting and freeze time forever, I’ll only order us virgin mocktails I promise. Everyone talks about wanting to be “grounded,” well I DON’T WANT IT. Just please let me stay hooked up to the plastic wire, keep pretending you can’t see it, and watch me soar…
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