Do you remember that sequence in My So-Called Life where Angela monologues about the boys she has responded to? The EMT guy framed in a doorway with the light flaming around him. And her final statement is something like, I don’t know if that’s normal or not.
I’ve been thinking about shame. About chopping it off like gangrene. I’ve been thinking about bodies, about breasts, about bloody hands. About sexual guilt and traumatic memory. I’ve been thinking about stories we can’t bear to articulate.
I finally told mine. My darkest dark. The one I thought there were no words for. Sometimes story is an organ, like intestine, and you pull it link by link from yourself, and wonder if you’ll ever be able to replace it. This is supposed to save me, this procedure, but it’s worse than gutting. Revolting and messy and and — I won’ t say shameful. I won’t. Because it isn’t. To speak of our dark, to name it, this is how we become authentic. This is how we move through the pragmatic, mechanical task of living deliberately. This is how we inhabit our bodies.
We examine even our bowels. The places we suspect are dirty. Infected. Perverse. We hold them in our hands with infant tenderness and and — I don’t know. We sing to them, I think. We sing to them.