I love words. Words are great. I like learning new words, which is very hard to do at this point in my well-read life. When I encounter a new word, it’s like I’m meeting a dog for the first time. I stop and ooh-and-ahh and pet them until they are my new best friend.
And my favorite word of all is… no.
I know, you thought it would be something like stricture or plethora or crinkle. But it is…
From experience, I can say without a doubt that “no” is the first word which a child learns, repeats and really understands.
Nobody likes to be told no, when their heart is set on something, even if that something is bad for them. Lucky for parents, kids have abysmal attention spans.
I love the word “abysmal” but I’m still sticking with “no” for number one fave.
On a slightly (but not entirely) different topic, I got a radical new haircut back in June.
I once had long hair… well, I tried to have long hair… when I was in college in the early ’90s. But my hair is super thin and I couldn’t get it past my shoulders. So when I graduated, I cut my hair into the same bob that I have kept, more or less, for 25 years.
Sometimes I had bangs, sometimes I didn’t. That was about it for variety.
Actually, now that I think about it, I did experiment for a bit in the late ’90s when I was living in a funky part of Tucson and got my hair cut by a gal named Sigrid at a salon called The Coyote Wore Sideburns.
I would sit in her chair, tell her what I wanted, and she would tell me no.
She gave me deep discounts on cuts and colors, but I had to pay full price on products.
During that time, my first marriage was kind of stalling out and it felt like my life was a bad sitcom. So I did anything I could to feel alive. Some of them really really stupid.
Then, after my first marriage crashed and burned, I got my hair cut in a bob like before and have not deviated in style since then, until June of this year.
The reason: I need to get up and out to work on time, sometimes as early as 6:00 a.m., and I don’t want to wake up 30 minutes earlier than I have to, just to blow-dry my hair.
So I walked into a cheap haircut place with stylists I like and asked for a long pixie.
BTW, the only haircut my dad knows by name is a pixie, so according to him, I’ve always had a pixie haircut.
Because my hair is fine, I have to use product. But this new style allows me to start my coffee, take a shower, dry off and lotion up, perfume the pits, dress in jeans and a polo, make a pretty face, pomade the pixie, clip the bangs, put on some earrings, assemble coffee, grab a Bel-Vita, and be out the door in 30 minutes flat.
I can’t put into words how amazing it feels to hygiene like a guy.
And that makes me think about things (other than hair and make-up) that I have been burdened with in my life, as a girl.
One of them is preventing my own rape. That shouldn’t be just my burden to carry.
I have spoken before about being a survivor of marital rape. Truth is, there is more than just that horror which I have survived.
I might want to talk about it with someone at some point in my life. Or not.
So, if I love the word “no” it is in part because it hasn’t been enough in my life to protect me from terrible people. And for that reason, I use “no” whenever I can.
The way I see it, saying “no” frequently makes it that much incredible when I say “yes.”
The reason I am posting this poem should be obvious at this point. Sales of my last collection of poetry have been encouraging. Thanks to all of my readers. Truly.
below my hips,
betwixt my thighs,
hidden from sight:
oh, what a prize!
doors to a room
leading him on.
visit he may,
come, then be gone.
will grow in length,
tremble and throb.
cushions of red
strewn on the floor
soften the thrust
of wanting more.
this is my house,
belongs to me.
and I will choose
who gets a key.