That's all I fucking need, I think furiously. I check my planner: 27 days. Lately the intervals have gotten a few days shorter, hovering around the textbook 28, but flow duration is still longer than average. I've had 17 days off.
Looking at my planner, I remember what I thought last month, and the month before, and the month before that: That's all I fucking need. I think back over the past decade. Ten years – that's approaching half my life – I've been putting up with this monthly exodus of dark matter, and not once have I been able to feel anything remotely positive about it.
Every month: That's all I fucking need.
Fifteen years old, in the bathroom, crying and cursing my body for its monthly betrayal, uncontrollable, infuriating, pointless. Twenty-one years old, in the bedroom, being upbraided by my girlfriend for my squeamishness about bodily fluids. All the years in between, growing into feminism, learning to deconstruct my internalized misogyny, reading Steinem, finding out that many women see this as something empowering, something beautiful, something to celebrate.
I don't find it empowering.
I don't find it beautiful.
I don't want to celebrate it.
I'm utterly sick of trying not to hate it. I'm sick of trying to locate some essential femininity in it. Sick of trying to see it as emblematic of the life-giving facility of the female body. Sick of trying to view that same facility as a source of power rather than a source of visceral horror, something I would gladly relinquish given half a chance.
I hate it, this thing my body does. I want to be rid of it.