Play Nice

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Patricia

Briefly

[This is where the summary would go if I'd bothered to write one.]

« ChangesWeek 142 »
Writober 05: Holding On

Sex, for those of you not in the loop, is bad. Sex is not something a woman should enjoy or want. Sex is to be avoided unless the husband absolutely demands it from his wife.

That’s what I heard growing up. I’m sure that the only reason those words weren’t embroidered on my pillows is because my mom didn’t posses that particular skill. Surprisingly it only took a couple of years in my early twenties to undo all of that conditioning.

****
I’ve never been in love. I am, as the old-timers used to say, heart-whole.

****

My mother always claimed she’d know once I wasn’t “pure”. The first time I had sex, I waited to hear the recriminations. The slurs about how cheap I was. None came. Further proof that she wasn’t all knowing.

****

When I was 29, during a visit to El Salvador, a friend of my mother’s, someone she’s known since she was a child, asked me if I had a boyfriend. I sensed, however, that that wasn’t the question she wanted to ask.

I smiled, used to the curiosity. A twenty-nine year old single woman is a bit of an anomaly in El Salvador . Either I was planning to be a nun or gay. Neither of which was particularly acceptable in our circles. “No,” I replied but didn’t elaborate.

She studied me from across the desk. A clock behind me ticked softly.

“You know,” she eventually said, “sometimes you can hold on to a thing for longer than you should.”

“Mmmm,” I murmured. Turns out that she wasn’t all knowing as well.

****

Once in a while, when I contemplate the wholeness of my heart, I think back to that sunny afternoon in a dusty office with a clock ticking behind me.

“She’s right,” I say. “Sometimes you *can* hold on to something much, much longer than you need to.”

Published 10/19/05 in Writing • Writober • | Views: 1768 times | Print

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