Monday, November 28, 2011

That Time Where I Lost My Girlhood:

Writing about something that happened sixteen years ago is kind of difficult. I don't want to create some sort of fiction-non-fiction, so I had to really look back to see what happened. I even told my mom the story of what happened on my first Period Day. I wish I had written it down. I kept diaries regularly back then, but I don't know where they got to, and they were mostly pre-teenaged musings probably having to do with the fact that I had weird, pointy breasts developing that people made fun of (another crazy story that I will highlight later), or the fact that my dad wouldn't let me play football or basketball with my brother anymore. I've been making outlines in my head about it, but I didn't write anything down until now. I wrote a few pages of what I was experiencing back then and here is what happened:

Now let’s fast forward to three years later. The Vicious Cycle finally got me like The Nothing took Fantastica, sweeping away my girlhood in one day. It rendered my world of smiling stuffed animals and happy cotton panties to nothing more than overly emotional tears, ibuprofen and mattress-sized maxi pads. It was not a good day. My mother was at work all day, and I had noticed strange panty spotting the previous Friday. I was 14 years old and I had felt very odd all day, a little nauseous and like I had to go to the bathroom all day. I noticed the brown spotting, but for some reason, didn’t think twice about it.
    The next day was a Saturday, and I felt horrible. My mother was at work and my father was at the grocery store, but before he left was in a noticeably bad mood. I watched some cartoons with my brother and sisters, then went to take a nap, neglecting my chores for the day. When I woke up after a fitful sleep, my father had come home with a large pumpkin he had intended to make into pies. He saw that I did not do my chores and instead of the punishment of no television or dessert, he gave me the pumpkin and told me to peel, chop and boil it down for the pies. He handed me a potato peeler and left me to work.
    Now, who has ever peeled a pumpkin? A preposterous notion, still, I believe. Had I the knowledge of pumpkin peeling previously, I would have known that I should have sliced it up first,then peeled the smaller pieces, making it easier to handle. But alas, I laid down cut up brown paper bags on the kitchen table and considered calling child services. I then began to peel the pumpkin. Peel after peel I felt worse, and the agony in my abdomen made my arms weak. I felt heat rising to my face and I had to suppress the lump in my throat as sticky pumpkin juice oozed out of the gourd’s wounds and coated and dried on my hands. My brother came down to the kitchen once or twice and said snarky things with a sympathetic look, and my little sisters looked on with round, interested gazes.
    After about an hour and a half of peeling and oozing, I chopped open the pumpkin and pulled out its insides, conserving the seeds and cubing the meat to boil for the pies. When I finished, I went to the bathroom to relieve myself and saw a small petal of burgundy on my underwear, imposing and life changing. I’m sure my face had a look of disbelief, and I had an embarrassing feeling in the pit of my tummy because I forgot all of the stuff I learned when I was a self-proclaimed Sex Education Superstar. I rolled up some toilet paper and stuffed it into my panties and tried to pretend that it wasn’t happening.
    My mother came home seemingly just in time. She was exhausted, and went straight to her bedroom to sit down. I inched in, focusing on the carpet. So brown. She looked at me and asked me what was wrong, and then, without warning, tears streamed down my face like coming floodwaters. I’m sure she thought something bad happened because I was crying hard for my lost girlhood. I would have to change my life. Unfortunately, I had joined the sucky Puberty Girls’ Club where we hid our panties, wore diaper-like contraptions, had boobs and our bodies supposedly emanated suspect odors at any given minute. I didn’t feel ready.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Looking for Inspiration

See what had happened was...

I've been doing research. Like legit, for real "uterine research." I set out looking in used book stores, going out of business sales, book trash bins, my bookshelf, closets, The Internets, other people's brains, etc. I read women's self-help books, medical lit, hysterically outdated women's psycho-analyses (which really only makes me wonder if society thinks we are all bat shit crazy. I mean, I don't think that hysteria is a legit way to describe ladies' emotions and behavior now days...). I got into some lesbian non-fiction by Terry Castle, a funny, dry lady-professor. I can't say I got anything from that yet, except for some real laughs, and the knowledge that I can, indeed, simply go off subject because I feel like it, as long as I come back to the original point at hand. I really, seriously needed something to get me started.

Then I went to a writing group.

What have I learned? I need more detail in my existing works. I need to flesh it out, include my "uterine research"-I just like that term-and really get into the grit of what I am trying to say, and go off on tangents, take a few left turns, stuff like that. That was a really good workshop experience that I needed to kick me in the pants! I mean, I have about seven essays to write about and explore more of. That's enough for now, I think.

Oh and also, check this out! A friend sent me this article from Jezebel Magazine:

The Most Horrifying Period Stories You've Ever Heard

As the initial journalist expressed, puberty shouldn't be so horrifying and girls shouldn't feel ashamed of themselves because of it. I think that's partly why I'm doing what I'm doing. I'm not ashamed of what my uterus does to me anymore.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Letter To My Uterus From Another Uterus!!

My uterus has received a letter from my friend's uterus in France. I think it is AWESOME and her story is also beautiful. She (Alix, home of my uterus' penpal) is such a great mom and now I know exactly why being a mommy is so important to her! It is written in the point of view of her uterus and how it is and has effected Alix, her husband, Hocine, and kids Naim, Eliot and Jasmine (who I haven't met yet) . Please read:

Dear Anisa's Uterus,

Let me introduce myself. I am Alix's Uterus. I knew Anisa when you began to give her trouble in Toulouse. But she never talked about you then. Shy? I'll tell you about me now.  I am 42 years old, and although I've always existed inside Alix, she only got acquainted with me when we were 11. The beginning of her periods was not a shock to her because her mother had explained the whole "nest" thing for having babies, and had bought her pads, the ones you had to tie to a belt (old fashion). She quickly moved to adhesive ones, much more convenient. The only problem during the first year was that she always forgot when our period would begin. It always started when at school (last year of elementary school) and she had to go to her teacher to ask for pads. She remembers socked underwear and trousers very well, and thanks long tee-shirts fashion in that time.

She was lucky in the first years : her periods were painless and regular. Pain began when  14, lasted a few years, then disappeared as it came without leaving an explanation. When she was 22 she began to want a child. She had been dating Hocine for 6 years and she had a steady job. Then began a long and hard struggle. Having been raised like every little girl in the believing that "they living happily ever after and had many kids", she thought that there was nothing more simple than becoming pregnant. She discovered that fairy tales don't give details. After a year she went to her gynecologist and asked him to run some tests. A few hours of torture later, she discovered that one of her trumps was clogged and that she was not very fertile. She began popping pills before ovulating, taking her morning temperature and writing it, and popping other pills after ovulation. Two years later she finally became pregnant but very very very sadly lost the foetus after two months : feeling of emptiness inside. Another year crossing her fingers if not her legs, she became pregnant again. She had a wonderful pregnancy : no more periods! No illnesses, no dizziness, wonderful skin, few pounds, and the fun of feeling a little life inside me, and wonder of wonders : to grow a penis (it was a little boy and is now a young man). Giving birth was much more painful than periods, but it was worth the effort. After that first pregnancy she was bored to have periods again, a whole month of periods after Eliot's birth! Only good thing : no pain.

When Eliot was two after a few months popping more pills, she felt a new life growing inside. But an echograph when the foetus was three months old revealed the clogged trump was swelling dangerously. The gynecologist's reaction was frightening : you'll have surgery tomorrow morning!
A night of nightmares later, a open-belly surgery  later, the baby started kicking again. Phew! A few months later little boy Naïm (second penis) was born.

Pain come back the year after, very acute, very socially destructive, Alix would still go to work, but ache all day long. Evening were devoted to trying to find a painless position. It went on for another year, then stopped.

She had been on the pill for 26 years and was getting tired of it. So she decided to stop, husband said ok we'll use condoms. But you know how it goes... Therefore a few months later, a little before our 40th birthday, Alix, who only had one trump left, thought she was un-fertile, became pregnant again! She remembers vividly buying a test, peeing on it, and peeking 10 seconds after although she had to wait for 60 seconds, and seeing the pink lines, two pink lines! She told herself to wait. And a minute later, at the same time smiling in surprise and happiness and telling herself "oh shit, too old, too small apartment, husband not willing another child, but.... happy! " Decided not to let herself be told to get rid of it. Husband after a few minutes of surprise accepted it. And on it went for months of glorious health, beautiful skin, no dizziness, and... a little uterus growing in her! How funny to think this baby you feel inside is growing the same equipment! Hope her uterus will be charming.

After the most painful birth-giving she experienced, Alix has a beautiful little Jasmine. And periods again... Irregular cycles, very painful ovulations, and painful periods... Back to the same shit...
Always wonder why sometimes periods are ok, and sometimes for years in a row they're painful.
Women have a complicated equipment. No wonder they're so complex.

Bye, Anisa's uterus, let's hope you give her rest.

Alix Allalou: Mommy, Wife, Librarian and My Friend (and my Uterus' new penpal!) Lives in Toulouse, France Basically Being Awesome!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Hypophysis: Continued I've been writing some more on this section of Dear Uterus. I think it makes sense. I need to insert references and sources, etc. That will be soon to come. It's just that this part has felt a little more involved...anyways! Here we go!

I decided one day that I should think about making my uterus into a zombie by getting a prescription for birth control. Not because I was getting regularly laid, but because I wanted to control my cycle the easy way. My uterus couldn’t do anything about it anyway. I could sneak to the lady doctor and get my stash as my uterus took a nap in my abdominal cavity...and it would never wake up the same. I would think about this from time to time with a Grinch-like grimace crawling across my face. Convincing my uterus that it didn’t want babies, I think, was the biggest form of mind control (and perhaps, stroke of genius) I could possibly inflict on my body. My uterus wants nothing more than to have me walking around barefoot and pregnant throughout my fertile years. I always wondered what exactly birth control would do to my body, and because of how my mind works, I needed a technical explanation. Of course I got some research in.

    The basic breakdown of what birth control actually is and what it does is this: birth control is an artificial hormonal contraception and is a synthetic estrogen and progestin. These artificial hormones trick the body to either not ovulate or to hit the ovums off at the pass and prevent them from being able to attach to the uterine lining. Gross, right?

    Not so long ago, scientists and birth control advocates decided that this whole inevitable pregnancy nonsense must come to an end. For women to take control of their own bodies and their own sexual pleasure, the pregnancy factor had to be at least controlled to some extent. When it was clear that douches were not working, along with other primitive birth control methods, major research on an “easier,” more effective way to prevent pregnancy became a focus.

    Enter Margaret Sanger, nurse, activist and major feminist badass, who founded the American Birth Control League, aka the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She wrote to obtain research grants after it was discovered that certain hormones hindered pregnancy in lab rabbits in the 1930s. After years of study, in the 1950s, Frank Colton invented the first oral contraceptive, Envoid. This was modernized by a cluster of scientists, namely Carl Djerassi, in the 1950s and made into tiny pills, conveniently taken, concealed and easily utilized. These scientists and activists blazed a trail that eventually put out a product that not only secured a woman’s liberal sexuality, but made the prospect of an inevitable pregnancy almost null and void. Of course there was resistance coming from those men and women who think that people shouldn’t be able to choose what to do with their reproductive gifts, and that controversy is still present. Well they can bite me. Despite all of that, I can go to my ob/gyn and get fun things like pills, patches, vaginal rings, shots, etc. to put my natural bodily processes to a temporary stand still until I figure out what I want to do with my awesome ability to procreate. So there.

    On the other hand, what can all of these artificial hormones do to my body? First of all, hormonal birth control can possibly put the circadian rhythm all out of whack, which is a major cancer risk. There goes my follicular development. Most pills will induce an entirely different ovulating schedule, if there is any ovulating at all. It sometimes makes the ovaries release the egg at different times, making it inconvenient for the body to house a fetus. The hormones also change the consistency of the mucus that the cervix produces, which confuses the sperm so that they cannot find the egg at all! The fake estrogen and progestin effect the uterus’ hospitality and any developing ovums become very unlikely and unwelcome house guests.

    Hold on, though, that doesn’t make any sense at all, right? The uterus being inhospitable to an ovum? That has got to be some major zombie shit right there, and I decided it was. I am supposed to have around thirteen periods a year. If I take the birth control, I would probably end up with about 3 or 4 a year, and as tempting as that seems, I really find that to be incredibly undesirable. Knowing my raging hormones, extra fake zombie hormones would probably do more harm than good anyway.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sample Art

So I made a Dear Uterus comic strip today. But my scanner is no good. I will replace it with a better one later on, but for now here it is:
And this is what it says:

"I imagined my Uterus clawing its way out and running down the hallway as I'm eating my cereal at the kitchen sink. So happy and naked, making tracks on the hardwood floors. Throwing open the front door, breathing in the morning air, looking back at me, grinning: "Au Revoir, you repressive whore, I'm gone!" It walks down the driveway with its iPod, fully intent on hitch hiking to San Francisco, the little hippie. Probably figuring it could make its way to Hape Street to smoke weed and never work again. However, because it's Georgia, it gets hot outside and the Uterus dries up on the pavement like an unlucky little worm."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dear Uterus:

It is pretty obvious that you are ovulating right now. I think we've had most of the signals: squishy, tender abdomen and boobs, wildly imaginative writing/brainstorming, The Sexy Feeling (ugh, we all hate the Sexy Feeling, especially when there is no sex to be had. It's like your desperate attempt to get that ovum fertilized), the need for wine drinking-today we'll blame that on you...-, jitters not obtained by excessive coffee consumption, the candy-wanting...there's a whole lot more.

Your biological warfare is not going to work. Prepare as you wish, but this body is not planting any human crops at this point in time.


The Brain
CEO-The Body
Manager of Emotions

My Hypophysis:

 Interesting stuff here. A Disney cartoon telling young girls what to expect when they grow up and hit puberty. I guess I can't get mad at that, but I really didn't expect that from an entertainment company who tells young girls it is okay to get married at 16 (*coughLittleMermaidcough*), or let some dude find you and end your horrible suffering, or sugar coat the hardships of single parent households...don't get me wrong though, I love Disney films for real. And I love how they explain how puberty happens and how the pituitary gland is actually at fault here. And how to expect to be emotional and irritable. I especially like the part where they say not to overexert yourself, but the little housewife, who is vacuuming and picking up sofas like it is no big deal (doing her "daily routine"), is totally fine. It is all true, really. It is just more fun watching it in a cartoon. Disney tends to take the edge off of things like raging hormones, broken homes, death and uterine turmoil. Animated, these things seem fun and exciting...

Speaking of fun and exciting, I also have a letter and an essay that I have cut short because I am not finished with the whole thing. I posted the Disney cartoon because it really did remind me of this particular letter and this particular essay (that also will include a saucy Dear Penis letter that I am not sharing yet because it is not up to par lol). Because I am not a doctor, a Bioidentical Hormone Expert, a gynecologist, or a brain surgeon, there are proooobably some indiscretions that I did not consider while writing on this topic. Which is why research is so important and why I am open to any essays, texts, articles, etc. that anyone may have on the topic.

Dear Uterus,

I think our working relationship is strained. Sometimes I totally disregard what actually makes you who you are. Perhaps I’ve been a little harsh on you. Why would you blindly accept the fact that I am pumping you full of hormones all the time? If you were doing that to me, I don’t think I would take it. That said, I’m going to need to pump you full of more hormones so that The Body can ovulate faster. You may experience a change that may trigger extra emotions. Expect extreme hunger pangs, thirst, fatigue and horniness. Just thought you should know in advance. Quality control and all.

The Brain
C.E.O.-The Body
Manager of Emotions

    Despite everything I say and everything I write, I love my uterus with a passion that most people don’t understand. What is love, anyway, without some heated passion and unnecessary pain? Add a complete lack of common sense and denial and you have the human psyche. There is a period of time, about a week or two before my cycle starts, where I actually look forward to my God given gift to constantly bleed for approximately one hundred and twenty hours. I don’t know what it is and I never questioned it, but it is an overall good mood. I usually feel grateful for everything, even if most things are going wrong. I have cramps but I let it happen sans pain relief because it feels inexplicably good. It’s a very sexy feeling, actually. I don’t know, maybe I’m ovulating or something, because I get more male attention during these three hours as well. Externally, others usually can’t tell if you’re ovulating. However, in theory, some say that women appear more attractive, smell better, have more appealing voices, etc. Who knows; I’m no scientist, but whatever works.
    If I am ovulating, I think that would make the most sense though. If this is the case, then I am technically aiming my inevitable anger at the wrong body part. You see, my hypothalamus gland is most likely the culprit here. The hypothalamus is the gland that links the nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland aka the hypophysis. The region of the brain with the hypothalamus, thalamus, pituitary gland and whatnot lives in the major portion of the ventral diencephalon. Basically, the hypothalamus is a big kahuna in Brainland. It controls the body temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, anger and the circadian rhythm, also known as the internal clock. If you can imagine, being a woman, this is a very touchy area as far as I’m concerned.
    ANYWAYS, imagine the scenario after my three hours of reproductive bliss. After my pre-ovulatory, or follicular, phase is over my ovarian follicles change their tune. My hypothalamus is now releasing a cocktail of luteinizing hormones (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH), thus attempting to trigger ovulation. This begins a cumulus expansion, stimulated by the FSH, which forms a hole or a “stigma” in the follicle so that our friend the ovum can slide on through. The ovum is now on its way through the fallopian tubes towards the uterus on a quest to get fertilized and cause babies to grow inside of the waiting uterus. Or whatever.
    Meanwhile, what are all of these follicle-stimulating hormones and luteinizing hormones that my hypothalamus is recklessly skeeting out doing to me physically and emotionally? Well, since Sister Hypothalamus controls my temperature, my hunger, my attitude and my internal clock (and probably some other stuff I know nothing about), I’m pretty sure that by now, I’m a hot ass mess. About this time is when I completely let go of anything resembling restraint. I am usually between sobbing and screaming. In between all of this, I fantasize about grabbing the next man I see to vigorously make babies. Vigorously in an uncoordinated fashion. And there is no way I could be remotely attractive now. Since then, I had gained water, obtained gas somehow, and acquired the attitude of a manic depressive hyena.

Monday, August 15, 2011

La Frigidaire: L’Estomac vs. La Utérus

Dear Uterus,
You may have kept me in bed today until 2 p.m., you may have given me terrible cramps, you may have made me miss my coffee, you may be an unpleasant little bitch, but you can't stop me from having a blast! So why don't you just go screw yourself and stop being such a dick. I'm starting a petition against you. 

The Brain

C.E.O. The Body
Manager of Emotions

It is amazing how two factors can totally determine how positive or negative my day will be: My Stomach and my Uterus. My day must always begin with a cup of good coffee and often times, something small but good to eat. When I say coffee, I’m not talking about pre-ground coffee that you can get at the grocery store. I’m talking about that whole bean goodness that I freshly grind with spices and happiness and blend with cream to create a beautiful concoction of well-being and wakefulness. If I don’t have that, or at least a good generic copy, my entire days are messed up because it’s my stomach that at least needs to be satisfied with a cup of coffee. I realize my addiction and I own it.
The uterus will often try to undo all of the well-being that I created with my morning java. If my day begins with an ornery reproductive vessel, then the rest of the day has potential to be miserable to say the least. The day can be especially miserable if the uterus is toying with the desires of an irritable tummy.
You see, the stomach apparently shares the power to run or ruin my life with the uterus. The stomach is not as strong, at least in my case, as the uterus and its control over the body.  The uterus, however, can sometimes be overruled by the opinion of its opponent. Hunger pangs are comparable to menstrual cramps. They debilitate you; my hunger has a way of steering my opinions, moods and actions. Unlike the uterus, the stomach can be satiated easily by putting something into it (save your dirty minds…now the vagina and the stomach, on the other hand, have that in common too, but this isn’t about that right now). Because of that tiny factor, my stomach wins periodically in the struggle for control over my life. There was one instance, during my Uterine Enlightenment, when I was made painfully aware of the power struggle between my stomach and my uterus. Here is the back story:
One of my friends in Toulouse, Jess, got into a situation where she had to move. She is American as well, from the same southern town as I am, a very Baptist county in Georgia. Jess had, for some reason, moved into a building that was devoutly Catholic, and one which was also devoutly ripping her off for a one room living space in a place called Foyer Saint Michel. This holy heist was costing over four hundred Euros a month, a price that is well above the budget of a teaching assistant in France. Being that she was neither Catholic nor super religious, she found herself constantly annoyed (and broke) at the hands of the nuns. Jess and I had to figure out a scheme to move her from that Catholic dormitory in which she had been living for about four months, into a real apartment across town that cost a little over half of what she was paying the nuns. Afterwards, we were going to buy cheap wine and whiskey to celebrate that night, committing various sins out on the town. It was a scheme that was sure to work.
Jess explained that aside from the price of the place, she just couldn’t take living there anymore with the strict, tight-lipped sneaker-wearing nuns. They rode bicycles in straight lines, talked about cheese, preached the Catholic faith and dictated every move that the girls made. I was secretly amused by the nuns and their collective dictatorship that they had over the girls who lived there. They interpreted most moves as a sign of severe naught, and looked down on girls who did so.  To add to my excuses for attempting to get one over on the spouses of God, they also tried to get an additional four hundred Euro charge out of girls who moved earlier than their contract stated.
I digress. On a Saturday morning, I was supposed to get up early to sneak Jess and all of her things out of the foyer. We had talked about it the night before, schemed if you will, and it all seemed to make sense. I would get up, send her a text message when I got to her place, tip-toe her belongings into the car of one of our French accomplices and speed away on the narrow streets as the nuns slept in their chambers. Unfortunately, my Uterus decided to side with the nuns that day. 
I rolled around in bed, trying to get up, almost like usual. Only there was one difference: I was caught in a purgatory between my uterus and my stomach. I hadn’t eaten a big dinner the night before and I was starving! My stomach growled and when I tried to leave the bed, my uterus ground into my abdomen, and I sank back into the blankets, defeated. I stared, glassy eyed, at the ibuprofen sitting just out of arms reach on the far end of my night stand. What was worse was that I had just gone to the super marché the day before, and I had a refrigerator full of desirable food. I had found bacon at the Lidel, which was the cheapest grocery store in town. I had been hard pressed to find bacon, and I was incredibly excited when I found it among the other poitrines and cubed off-meats. Along with the bacon, I bought some fromage blanc. Let me go off on a tangent and tell you about fromage blanc. It is essentially a yogurt-like white cheese that I enjoy with strawberry or apricot jam. When I ate some, it was like an explosion of soft, cheesy, creamy goodness that I am hard pressed to find in the States. Anyways, I had just bought my favorite café Arab as well, which was a strong and smooth coffee with no bitter after taste. To top it all off, I had a jar of chocolaty Nutella and a fresh, crispy baguette-there is nothing like a fresh French baguette. All of that was in my kitchen, and I was in bed struggling to get to my beloved bacon, coffee and cheese. I had an internal dialogue and this is what happened: 
(Anisa lies in bed, twisting and turning in pain. The Uterus enters from stage left, creeping low, bent towards the ground, fallopian tubes bared like a cougar’s claws)
Stay in bed or I'll hurt you, and you know how that is.
(Anisa balls herself up in bed and groans. Enter the Brain, stage right. The Brain gives the Uterus a dirty once over, fallopian tubes to cervix, then speaks in a commanding voice).
Get up, you have to help Jess move in two hours and 45 minutes.
(Anisa attempts to sit up, begrudgingly. Enter the Stomach, stage right. It grumbles and holds its sides, speaking in a pleading voice).
There's bacon and coffee and fromage blanc with apricot jam in the kitchen...why the hell are you still in bed!?
(Anisa shows some interest by dangling her legs off of the side of the bed. The Uterus taps its foot and utters ominously).
 I'm warning you. Be know what I can do to you...
(Anisa cautiously pulls her knees to her chest. The Brain rolls its eyes and puts its stem on its hip dramatically).
You can't break your promise to Jess...
(The Stomach nods in agreement and takes two steps closer to Anisa)
Bacon. Coffee. Creamy fresh white cheese with jam...only a few feet away.
(The Uterus looks from Anisa to the Stomach to the Brain, panicked)
(The Brain and the Stomach dance in circles around Anisa’s bed)
Bacon…Coffee…White Cheese…
(The Uterus is at a loss for words)
(Anisa struggles and fights her way out of the bed sheets)
 I'M UP!
(The Brain and the Stomach give each other a high five)
(The Uterus skulks away, defeated, stage right)
My stomach won that battle, with a little help of my common sense. I sloughed to the kitchen, victorious, and had my fare, happily and weary: crispy bacon, creamy grits that my mother sent for me in a care package, café Arab, fromag blanc with apricot jam, and a baguette spread with Nutella. Victory! After breakfast at 6:30am, I made my way down to Foyer Saint Michel to get to work.
  I ended up not helping Jess that morning anyways, because the nuns were still skulking about in the building. Of course nuns of all people would be up at the ass-crack of dawn to worship at the chapel or terrorize the girls or whatever nuns do at seven o’clock in the morning. Jess ended up sneaking out of the foyer Catholique later on that day, Mission Impossible style, and moving her way across town to the nice nun-free apartment. 
That night, I ignored my need to stop functioning. There was no reason why we shouldn’t have celebrated the liberation of Jess, and I was not going to let a little thing like my uterus or my stomach stop me. After having drinks at the new place, we went with our accomplices to Place Saint Pierre, the popular district to hang out for students in Toulouse. In this district, on the Garonne River, there are bars, clubs, lounges, cafés and restaurants that everyone hops to from Thursday to Sunday every weekend. We ended up at The Gate that night, an international club that has cheap drinks and cute boys. My Uterus lost that day, and instead of staying in bed with my covers up to my nose, I danced until 3:00am. We stopped at a Moroccan kebab stand at 3:30am at the request of my stomach, who was certainly victorious. The nuns would have prayed for the redemption of our souls that night, had they cycled passed us in their Nikes, I thought, as we ate mystery meat kebabs, pomme frites and sipped thé du menthe.
(Exit Anisa, stage left)

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Dear Uterus:
Seriously, what's going on? You're wacky and I think you need therapy. I think I need therapy because I have to deal with all the paperwork. I mean, I know I'm hard on you, I know I said lay off all the really crazy emotional stuff, I know I said take it easy on the other body parts, but did you go into a coma and then all the sudden surprise everyone by waking up the next week all...weird? I mean when you say, "No really, I'm fine..." is that a passive-aggressive way of saying, "Tomorrow I’m going to mess you up!"? Give me a little warning about these things.
I mean, thanks for the weeks without having obvious signs of evil intentions (like the cramps, back aches, bloating, weird appetite, etc...), but leave a sticky note or a memo...something. 
The Brain
C.E.O The Body

Manager of Emotions
 P.S. Whore-Bag

Although the uterus isn’t the most delightful bodily organ to deal with, what would we do without it? It has the personality type that continually irritates us, but we worry when we don’t hear anything from it. What could be wrong if the Uterus is too quiet? If it doesn’t call for a painful conversation every now and again, is it sick? To be so abominable, we sure go through a lot of trouble to make sure that it is okay.
I didn’t hear from my Uterus for three months once. Three months with no word; no e-mails, no painful phone conversations, no cravings, nothing. This was when I was in college. I was stressing out from trying to make decent grades and working three jobs: a resident advisor, a waitress, and working for free, doing an apprenticeship that entailed making a load of designs at some tattoo shop in town. I suppose the Uterus didn’t like that, because it disappeared from my life completely. At first, it was no big deal. Who wouldn’t want a vacation from such a pain in the ass? After a while, though, I began to worry and envision various complications that could be the result of a missing Uterus, the number one on my list being cancer. After a nervous breakdown in the middle of my 4120 Literature course, I thought maybe I should at least look toward my Uterus to fix things and make sure that I hadn’t become a simple robot. I went to a local OB/GYN, an old man with long, crotchety fingers like Slim Jims, but he told me it was just stress and that my Uterus was, in so many words, sleeping. Well, I thought that was just stupid! 
“What did some old man know about my Uterus, anyways,” I would think to myself, arrogantly, as I walked to one job or another. I quit my waitress job anyway to relieve myself of stress.
But the Uterus did not return. A month passed and I began musing about what may have happened to it. What if it really wasn’t there? What if it escaped? I imagined my Uterus clawing its way out and running down the hallway as I'm eating my cereal at the kitchen sink. So happy and naked, making tracks on the hardwood floors. Throwing open the front door, breathing in the morning air, looking back at me, grinning: "Au Revoir, you repressive whore, I'm gone!" It walks down the driveway with its iPod, fully intent on hitch hiking to San Francisco, the little hippie. Probably figuring it could make its way to Hape Street to smoke weed and never work again. However, because it's Georgia, it gets hot outside and the Uterus dries up on the pavement like an unlucky little worm. Serves it right for trying to escape! But if that happened, where would that leave me? Uterusless and alone feeling like my femininity left the building.
This experience strongly relates to the Greek and Egyptian theories of the Wandering Uterus. Apparently, before modern medicine was, well, modern, ancient physicians and gynecologists like Hippocrates believed that the uterus could just up and walk away to another part of the body. So if it was angry at, say, not procreating or not receiving sexual pleasure, it would move to other parts of the body, making women sick and causing hysteria-a disease characterized by a cramping pelvis, fevered desires, hunger and excessively sexual behavior (this sounds like a normal thing that most women go through as a part of living in general). If the woman couldn’t be cured by a penis, the thing believed to keep most women “sane,” then they would need to seek further treatment. This belief resulted in cure theories that would set women back even further, keeping them in their “place,” making babies and taking care of husbands and families. Throughout time and history, some doctors believed that if the area being effected by the misplaced uterus was slathered in something foul smelling, for example, excrement mixed with oil, the uterus would be repulsed and move back to it’s rightful home within the pelvis.  Also, the uterus was believed to love all things sweet smelling. The more pleasant way of attracting the uterus back home was to place something sweet near the vulva, attracting the horned beast to slumber where it belonged.
Since I never favored the idea of smearing excrement on myself or putting anything, sweet smelling or not, on my vulva for long periods of time, I decided to get a second OB/GYN opinion. This time I went to a “real” doctor at a “real” hospital in Atlanta. By that time, I had just moved to the Buckhead area of Atlanta on an internship, and so I booked an appointment with the hospital up the street. I talked to the receptionist on the phone and I made my appointment, fully expecting the experience to validate my suspicions that something was terribly wrong with me; that quite possibly my Uterus was dead and that I had no way of reproducing if I one day decided to delve into that mystery. Or maybe I had cancer and only had six weeks to live. Or even that I had testosterone levels that went up to the point that possibly, I was transforming into something more male than female! I’m sure I saw that happen to someone before while watching some Discovery Health channel marathon or something. Perhaps a woman who wasn’t having health problems at all went to a doctor who suddenly realized that the woman was a hermaphrodite. That probably never happened, and surely that couldn’t be happening to me…or could it?
My mind went wild with suspicions as I walked into the doctor’s pristine office. I was instantly distracted when my new doctor came in. He was a blue-eyed angel that sported bright  scrubs and a faux-hawk. He led me to the back examination room, pretty as could be. He asked me questions about my vagina, my unfortunate lack of a sex life, about my eating habits, about my shoes, and where I got them. He batted his long lashes and called me “girl” more times than was necessary. This distraction was also instantly comforting, as he prepared the examination utensils, latex gloves and sticky gels. 
“And how long have you lived in Buckhead, lady?” He asked me while inserting the cold duck lipped utensil between my stirruped legs, shocking my comatose Uterus with chilly metal.
“Oh…juuuust about six months or so…” 
“Well that’s nice,” he said as he squeezed a sticky blue jelly into his palm and began to explore. “And it seems pretty kosher up there too,” he added, with a look that seemed to say‘…in the Nether Regions.’
“You don’t see anything?!” I was pretty irritated to have come all the way to that hospital just to have some precious doctor play house with my vag.
“Nope. Everything seems to be in place.”
“Really,” I said, flat as one could with a gloved and perfectly manicured hand still poking at my cervix. I wanted to say, “What do you know about what’s in place or not, anyways?” Of course I didn’t. Aside from the fact that he went to medical school and I didn’t, and had seen more vaginas than most men his age, the doctor was just too pretty for me to be rude to.
“Really,” the doctor smiled pleasantly. “I’m going to run a few routine tests, though. Just to make sure she’s running smoothly.”
“Tests” is what I wanted to hear. After getting re-dressed and pulling together my dignity, I shook the doctor’s hand and signed out. I felt relatively justified in my endeavor. Maybe I would come up with a clean bill of health. Maybe I wouldn’t lose my Uterus and it would wake up, refreshed from that unnecessarily indulgent nap it was taking. Or maybe a hysterectomy was in order. The words “Uterusless” and “alone” crept back into my brain.
As I sat on the bus on the way home, I started thinking about hysterectomies. I couldn’t imagine how women who have gone through hysterectomies feel. They literally are Uterusless. I’ve been told that it is like a hollow feeling, because something is missing, and when you bend over you can tell it is missing. Someone once said that she wished they would have stuffed something in there to replace it like a breast implant or some crumbled up newspapers. I hoped I wasn’t in the crumbled up newspaper part of my life.
The simple agony of losing that petty, fleshy muscle seemed so unbearable. I mean look what’s being lost here: Creation. That is what the uterus was designed for in the first place. The uterus is the female center of creativity, it is where we are engineered to be completely capable of creating something with men, even indirectly. Christiane Northrope had it right about the uterus and the menstrual cycle in the first place: “The menstrual cycle governs the flow not only of fluids, but of information and creativity.” (Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, p. 152-153) Not even Mary could have pulled that “immaculate” conception thing off without at least the vessel in which to carry, what a large percentage of humanity considers, their Savior. The Holy Mother’s Uterus must have been a real piece of work, though. I’m sure she didn’t have such a precious doctor to tell her that her Uterus wasn’t crazy and that it was going to be fine, either.
About two weeks later, my Uterus awoke with a vengeance. Because it had been such a long, long time since I had spoken with it, I allowed it to ravage my body with its drowsy rage. I joyfully took the pain. I chuckled to myself as it bounced around my abdomen, hitting every nerve, chewing my internal walls, gleefully giving me the pain that I clearly deserved after all this time. 
After the gratitude had its run, I decided to get the mail. I got a letter from the hospital concerning the tests that were run. They ran an HIV test, a hepatitis test, tested for diabetes and pregnancy. They, of course, all came back negative. I hesitantly looked at the bottom of the bill. It was for $300.00. Three hundred dollars for some dude to look up my vagina and tell me that I’m fine. Three hundred dollars worth of worrying about nothing. I was sure this was a test to make sure that I still cared. God, Uterus, you are such a bitch! I grabbed the bottle of Midol from the table and went to bed.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Vicious Cycle

Dear Uterus:
As we enter our time of warfare once more, I must speak for everyone else, yet again, in saying that you are the bane of everyone's existence. What are we going to do with you? If you keep acting like this, we're kicking you out for real this time. Just because you're in a bad mood doesn't mean you have to make our hormones dart around in this body like a roach infestation. We know what you're trying to do, and there will be no tiny humans in here, so you can stop it now.
No really. I'm not playing this time...we've had enough.
The Brain
C.E.O., The Body
Manager of Emotions 

P.S. You're a cunt

It all begins with a battle never to be won by us (because The Uterus is infinitely victorious). Like most epic conflicts, the battle begins with a valiant, yet grisly, puberty and ends with a warm and sweaty monster. Our mothers and grandmothers call it our “period” or our “time,” but I just refer to it as the Vicious Cycle, because that is what it is. I remember when my battle began, and no, I was not happy with it. I remember reading Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. My mother gave the book to me; I think she wanted me to read it so I would know what to expect. This girl really wanted her period, and couldn’t wait to begin her march into womanhood with her Uterus on her left shoulder. My Uterus sat in its cavernous quarters like Grendel, patiently awaiting the Vicious Cycle. I only semi-knew what was going to happen because of the honesty of my mother and no thanks to the awkwardness of health class.
Puberty is something that was not discussed in my southern county elementary school. Before sex education was even considered in school, my mother gave my brother and me a set of thin blue books that supposedly outlined puberty, reproduction and what it was like to experience extreme awkwardness. They had technical illustrations featuring the mysteries of boys and girls and also technical illustrations about the act of sex itself (which made sex look like an extremely boring chore that all grown ups had to go through), pregnancy and the menstrual cycle. My brother and I were both pretty embarrassed about the blue books, and we kept them in our small library that was in a long closet upstairs next to both of our rooms. We called it the Reading Rainbow Room, a place that we were sure Lavar Burton would hang out if it weren’t for those blue books. Meshed with my embarrassment was my curiosity, so I would often slip into the Reading Rainbow Room and grab the blue books that sat between Curious George and Dr. Seuss
I learned the shape of the uterus and its general use, and also the shape and function of the penis, a foreign creature with which I had no interest, really. What did it have to do with me, anyway? All I needed to know about was the uterus, and I thought it was pretty awesome by the time I thought I had it all figured out. By the time I reached fifth grade, it was time for the boys and girls to go to separate sex education classes, and boy was I ready! I knew what went where, I knew about menstruation and penises, urethras and fallopian tubes. What a cinch. 
I halfway expected something explicit to happen during sex education. I mean we’re talking about education about sex, here, people! Every other class that I had included segments of study, then experiments or videos. Then a test. There had to be at least some videos about sex that we could use, so that we could set aside for future research; it made sense to me at the time.
Sex education turned out to be a bust. We watched a National Geographic video about the mating rituals of harp seals. Following the mating rituals, the host of the show milked the lactating seals and tasted the milk-an incredibly perverse move, even to a 5th grader. All I remember about that day was the fact that harp seal milk apparently tasted like a rich, slightly fishy, buttery milkshake; pretty interesting information, yet useless according to my uterine research. After that yawn fest, I forgot, relatively, about sex education, abandoned the blue books and continued on normally. However, I always wondered one thing: if any one mammal fed exclusively on fish, would its milk also taste slightly of fish like marine mammals’?
Now let’s fast forward to three years later. The Vicious Cycle finally got me like The Nothing took Fantastica, sweeping away my girlhood in one day. It rendered my world of smiling stuffed animals and happy cotton panties to nothing more than overly emotional tears, ibuprofen and mattress-sized maxi pads. It took me aback, and I had to sit down and analyze the situation.  I had to come up with a way to live with this unfortunate womanly lifestyle. In most cases, the Vicious Cycle is pretty well planned out anyway. I had to come up with a plan in accordance to the plan of the Vicious Cycle. Over the next twelve years, I passively overanalyzed a beginning and end of the Cycle and how to deal with it with Defense Mechanisms, A Set Plan for Action and the Drugs Involved, Rations, Warning the Innocents and Reconstruction.
After an exceptionally brief biblical study of Adam and Eve, I decided that it was entirely Eve’s fault to begin with. As I mentioned in the previous essay, it was she who gave the Uterus its infinite power over me and enabled this pre-meditated pain and suffering. To deal with this issue, and to prevent walking around like I had a murder victim in my pants, I had to come up with a workable system-a defense mechanism, if you will- to prevent any embarrassing public accidents. I decided to be heavily clad with a line of defense: feminine hygiene products. Hygiene is very important when dealing with the Vicious Cycle because you can lose a battle when ill-equipped. 
I was told to keep my cycle secret to men, (again, thanks Eve...) and hygiene was the key to keeping that secret. Being secretively hygienic like this was, at first, like being in an all inclusive girls only club that sucked. I grew up wanting to BE a boy, initially, rolling around in the dirt and playing tag and football with the boys at recess. Being just as good as or better than them was super important to me. So the illusion that my period was a shame that our friend Eve bestowed, as opposed to a well-known truth to us all, was really annoying to me. This idea was totally against my tomboy mentality because I never wanted to be secretive or ashamed of anything about my body. But my mother, grandmother and aunts always told me to hold hygiene to high standards and to also keep “Sally” clean because dirty girls smell like fish. So, despite my love of tomboyish behavior, I was unquestionably obedient with this information because, seriously, who wants to walk around smelling like seal’s milk?
The pain that the Vicious Cycle and the Uterus unleash on my entire body can be debilitating. When I first started to bleed, it seemed like I had to go to the bathroom all day, and I was confused. I soon learned that they were cramps. *Side Note: Menstrual cramps, or the medical term Dysmenorrhea (ew), occur when the Uterus sheds it’s inner lining. More on that later* I concluded that in order to function like a normal human being, instead of wading through a swamp of immobility, one must have a supply of drugs. I always keep a nice, well-stocked medicine cabinet with things like Excedrin, Advil, Aleve, and off-brand ibuprofen. I am not tolerant of pain, and I am the first person to admit that fact. When I’m in an exceptional amount of pain and I take something to relieve it, I can literally feel my Uterus slow down like it fell into a vat of cement that is drying.
After years of learning how to be prepared, I started carrying my defense mechanisms with me at all times. I call it The Rag Bag, and it is full of things that are needed in the case of a surprise attack from the Vicious Cycle. It is a pretty brown leather clutch with colorful flowers on it. I suggest every girl obtain and supply their own Rag Bag. It is kind of like a bomb shelter; you keep everything you need inside just in case there is an emergency. 

Rag Bag Check List:

Pain Killers
Super Plus Tampons
Large Overnight Maxi Pads
A few dollars (just in case anything is missing)

The Uterus seems to develop tastes for things during the Vicious Cycle. Things that will ultimately hurt me in the long run by increasing the amount of water gain with salty snacks and upping the fatty food cravings by at least fifty percent. Chocolates, potato chips, cream cheese, cakes and ice cream are only a few on my list of things-that-should-not-be-eaten-at-the-same-time-but-I-do-anyways. In my years of observations on the Vicious Cycle, I admittedly find no way around this, and sometimes do not realize that I am succumbing to it. I will “unconsciously” pick up these things pre-Cycle and mysteriously have it in my hands during the run. I am normally paralyzed by want of sticky fingers, crunchy textures and chocolate milk mustaches—it’s dangerous self-medication.  However, it seems that consumption of these things seriously avert the attention of the Uterus, thus alleviating major pain.
Backing up the junk food beast that takes over my mind, I also tend to exercise more. A swift, one hour kickboxing class or a brisk run seem to make the Uterus tired and lulls it. Not to mention it helps get rid of all of those ridiculous calories that I shamelessly consume.
Many people assume that when women are moody, lashing out or screaming that we are being affected by the Vicious Cycle. So when we get angry about someone not flushing the toilet or when someone writes a bad review or when we “don’t feel like it,” whatever “it” may be, it is assumed, “Oh, she’s on the rag.” When that is true, others suffer on the Vicious Cycle’s behalf. When that is not true, it’s condescending (and others also suffer). It is a good idea to think about the innocents that do not know what is going on: the men, the children, friends, and the dog, but not the cat (they never care what you say to them, you just have to feed them). 
At fourteen, I never understood people’s negative reactions to my negative Uterus-influenced attitude. As I grew older, my bad attitude was no longer justifiable because everyone I knew was going through it in some form, and I couldn’t go around being constantly insupportable for a week. I had to find a way to let people, especially of the male persuasion, know that I was not in the market to be irritated. Instead of apologizing and hiding my condition, I decided to open up about it. For one, I stopped being embarrassed about getting feminine hygiene products at the store. In fact, I openly admit my condition by what I buy and no longer ask the clerk to double-bag my purchases. For example, while on a heated and urgent expedition for relief, I went to Le Petite Casino, a small and irritatingly more expensive version of a huge chain of French grocery stores up the street from my apartment. I was in no mood for shenanigans en Français, and I trudged into the grocery store. I picked up a variety of items: tampons, chocolate, milk, potato chips, maxi pads, chocolate, wine and chocolate and went up to the cashier. By what I purchased, I am admitting the following:
“I'm on my period. That being said, I just want you guys to know that it's okay. This is what happens to me every month. Whether you think it's God's punishment for what Eve got into in that garden, or whether you think the more logical, "Hey its reproduction, not snakes and apples," it’s seriously something that cannot and will not stop until menopause. You see, as a woman, I am highly reproductive. My body wants to make tiny humans so badly that it gives me hell every month. My body is an angry machine and it causes everything in my appearance to look disheveled. At least smile and say have a nice day without staring at me, my junk food or my tampons in utter fear and disgust. I hope you learned something from my reproductive genius, and have a nice, dry “I’m a guy” kind of day.”
From my long analysis of these things, I think that complete openness will help the innocents in their understanding of the situation.
The day that the Vicious Cycle and The Uterus move back into a dormant state is a day for celebration. There is a feeling of relief and comfort, comparable to getting a new puppy:  it’s nice to just hug the day and embrace the freedom. To recover from the damage done to Body (the variety of medication, all the junk food, possible inebriation, and the mental strain), walking is nice, a pleasant, healthy dinner and making up with the Innocents is in order. But no apologies

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Little Red Dot:

Uterus-Influenced Bad Poetry 
Once there was a little dot
The fairest in the land
But certain times of the month 
This dot would get way out of hand
The Monstrous Dot would transform,
A gruesome thing it was
Not completely out of the norm
And she'll slap you just because
Don't fuck with her, the Monstrous Dot
She's suffering anyway
She's getting flashes that are hot 
And angrier day by day
She rolls up to the pharmacy
Completely out of wack
She slaps the clerks recklessly
And eats the medicine wrack
Beware the Red Dot little friends
And take your birth control
Or let the suffering never end
Let the Anger take its toll

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Dear Uterus: 
It has come to our attention that you fail to realize that the rest of us are trying to run a smooth ship here. You're okay for most of the time, but for a whole two weeks out of every single month you drive the rest of us insane. The Liver is indifferent to the entire situation, but let me just inform you that those of us, such as the Spinal Cord, who can't get a moments peace with your constant pressure and whining, curls up in pain because you make the Nervous System, who is usually a great guy, fall to pieces! Because of the bad treatment of the Nervous System, the hair follicles cannot relax, and most hairs are on end about the whole thing. Especially the Head Follicles and they don't play around...when they're bad they're BAD. The Lungs aren't fully affected, but your constant badgering, panic and causing of pain to everyone else makes them work extra hard and they are constantly short of breath. I know this because the Boobs filed an incident report; and they're pretty pissed because your hormones make them sore. Don't get me started on the Heart...that guy is really confused because he keeps pumping blood and calculating the loss caused by you, and he can't figure out why the whole System doesn't just shut down from blood loss for a week. He's not that bright, I'm afraid. The Digestive System...discombobulated. They really don't know if they're really hungry or just greedy, so they ask for things like chocolate cake with ice cream and want to process things like meat pizza and baked beans and wonder why they're producing huge amounts of gas and retaining water and excess lipids.
What I'm trying to say, dear Uterus, is that you're messing it up for everybody else and, well, I think I'm speaking for the entire System when I say that you're a bitch. Who needs to be stopped.
Think about it.
The Brain
CEO, The Body
Manager of Emotions

Two weeks is all that is needed to become completely out of check in all aspects of a pretty well put together life. One day I’m flying high, getting things done. The next day, I’m just falling apart, popping pills, struggling through a thick haze, thinking about my next fix. The day was September 26th, 2006. I had just moved to southern France in the city of Toulouse and was getting used to the city. I loved it. Everything was going smoothly: I had a great apartment, I had new friends, a job, a bank account and a bus pass. I loved going to the cafes, eating croissants, watching people and being a French poser. Everything was going great until that morning. I woke up with pain shooting up my back, a pounding headache, an abdomen on fire and cramped thighs. It was the worst episode yet and all of the sudden, I hated everything and I couldn’t clearly see anything because of this red hazy rage I was experiencing. Who cares about France, I wanted drugs. This was the day that I realized I was not the one who was controlling my actions and my days. 
In my labyrinth of pain and suffering, I began to analyze my internal imprisonment. As it was my period that was the cause of this, it was biological. It was, of course, an affliction that I could not control, and not necessarily something I would like to get rid of all together either. It’s one of those things that you feel obligated to. Perhaps, I painfully mused, this obligation was biblically ingrained guilt as a result of Eve, that greedy slag who took it upon herself to partake of God’s forbidden fruit. I can’t get mad at her, though, because presumably it’s her “mistake” (or gluttony) that makes reproduction and sex a normal aspect of life. But she couldn’t have been too bright, stealing from the Creator and all.
It’s not like she did this to herself completely, I think, writhing to the right. I mean, presumably, she came from some dude’s rib, right? What common sense could someone possibly have if they technically just materialized out of somebody else’s expendable bone? Of course that bonehead girl didn’t think this whole forbidden fruit thing through. Eve is like that ditzy friend who messes it up for everyone else by being who she is. All women have that friend. The totally selfish girl who accidentally ruins things for everybody else, but you like getting a drink with her because she is totally fun and all the guys like her. We can’t lean on her when we are having issues, she won’t hold our hand through labor, she doesn’t keep tampons on hand, but damn it she will go to the club with us, get us drunk and give five dollars to the cabby on the way home. She also has enough information about us to possibly ruin us. Come to think of it, The Uterus and Eve have a lot in common. 
When I realized this about The Uterus, I instantly anthropomorphized it. It has bitterness in its voice and meanness in its temperament, but it will rock your world in bed and it will hold to term the most precious things in your life. My uterus clawed at my insides with its talon-endowed fallopian tubes and screamed obscenities up my spine and I cursed it and turned upside down, just off the side of the bed. However, I continued, The Uterus is also what it means to be a woman. It is an evil vessel of life that should be feared. Although it puts me through pain, it also gives me the euphoric realization that I could totally pull off creating something if I wanted to…you know, with a little effort and ambition, or even irresponsibly! I wondered if Eve had it all planned out that way in the first place. Was she really that much of a ditz? Or was she underhandedly scheming for a new image for the woman of 3500-4000 B.C.? All of this deep thought while twisting and turning upside down in bed until 2:00 p.m.! 
I finally pulled it together at 2:30 p.m. and lugged my Uterus to the grocery store across the street to buy some pain killers and chocolate. Now, in America, typical grocery stores carry a ton of convenient varieties of pain killers and happy pills. I asked for some type of extra strength pain killer and they didn’t have it. See, here’s the thing I learned about France that day: there are no over the counter drugs strong enough to compare to American drugs. We Americans hate pain and we Americans don’t want to feel. Drugs are a main point of interest. The French think that it’s okay to have minimally effective pain killers. I learned the way around that was by getting drunk off of glasses of wine that were cheaper than a Coke at cafes-but that’s another story entirely. Anyways, the grocer looked at me like he knew my problem (which he didn’t by any means) and I hiked up my burden and walked to La Pharmacie…all the way up the street, passed the Boucherie and the Patisserie AND the salsa club AND the barber shop. I found the big green cross that signified the pharmacy. Upon walking into the building situated inside of an old medieval house, I experienced a clean, white light; bright bottles of delicious relief lined the walls and I asked for the best brand for lulling my burden to sleep. 
“Je ne sais pas cette chose…I do not know what that is.”
After being very clear about what I wanted, it was obvious that there was no extra-strength anything and I was out of luck. I bought the closest thing to Ibuprofen and dragged my feet up what seemed like a two way hill, back to my apartment to wait out the scraping Uterus with the cat. Damn you, Eve. Damn you to Hell.