THE COLD SHOULDER AND OTHER TREATMENTS
I am currently not speaking to my clit.
I realize that my passive aggressive use
of the silent treatment is childish.
This bothers me until I choose not to worry about it.
Instead, I just cross my legs very tightly thinking,
"Take that, bitch," and smile from my receptionist's desk.
My friend Joan, who is not really my friend,
is always reading Cosmo.
She sits at the desk across from me.
Once a month she interrogates me
about the inadequacies of my past, present and future relationships with men.
My most recent endeavor was a fish-lipped man named Phil:
SWM, 38ish, "stocky," balding, manager-type
who enjoys moonlit walks and candlelight dinners,
romantic evenings on the beach and the occasional slap on the ass
SEEKS SWF, young(er), slim, attractive, blonde (brunette if shiny),
blue-eyed (will negotiate green), tall (but not taller than),
employed (doesn't make more than), intelligent (but not smarter than) f
or fucking and possible friendship. Personality a plus.
There were three things I did not like about Phil:
The way he picked his nose in public,
his refusal to perform oral sex because of the smell,
and his disinterest in bringing me to orgasm.
The rest of his flaws I tolerated,
finding them almost (but not quite) endearing.
We dated for five and a half months
before Phil flashed me the "it's not you, it’s me" finger.
I blame my clit but sometimes I wonder what I could have done differently.
Last month, I was a masochistic enabler.
This month, Joan likes to point out that according to Cosmo,
I might be a lesbian.
I like to lose myself in mirrors,
my eyes, my nose, my mouth.
I am fascinated by the reflections of reflections of reflections.
I never know what it is I see,
only what Cosmo tells me I am supposed to see.
My nose that is too long,
but with the proper shading technique can be shadowed into submission.
My forehead that is too wide,
but with the proper hairstyle can be hidden under a starchy wave.
My eyes that are too small,
but with deftly applied eye-liner
--the outside of the rim, not the inside--
can intrigue any man with their defined mystery.
And then my lips that are too thin,
but with just the right color and a dab of gloss,
can produce a pout that will have the men drooling
--and I sigh for something more.
Once and only once, did I look at my clit in the mirror
(a Cosmo suggestion).
It was rather uneventful, uninspiring and quite disappointing,
so I didn't do it again.
I like men to carry heavy things for me.
I'm not sure how that fits into the whole feminist scheme of things.
I acknowledge that I really should be self-sufficient,
but I don't understand why having ovaries and a uterus
means I should carry heavy things when
(a) I don't want to and
(b) men will carry them for me.
I'm sure my clit has something to do with the conspiracy.
I remember putting on nylons for Church
(The time is BC--Before Cosmo.):
I hate them,
the way they scratch and ride my crotch,
but I want to look nice,
and nice girls wear nylons.
The thought of hot synthetic mesh slowly suffocating my clit upsets me
(and my clit)
but propriety and the Bible (I assume, though I'm not sure) require it.
Scrunching each leg of nylon into a ring,
one after the other,
I wonder if God would be offended if I sat naked on a pew.
The words naked and pew make me laugh.
The thought of rubbing my naked body over
the smooth wood surface of the bench does not.
It intrigues me.
I consider nakedness in church:
I would wash myself in the baptismal font,
spread myself on the altar,
press my body against the huge stained-glass apostles
and roll around in the Communion wafers
--the ones that feel and taste like Styrofoam,
welding to the roof of a mouth because the thimble-full of wine
(one finger for grape juice)
—the blood of Christ--
isn't enough to dislodge it.
All of this would be done in biblical nakedness,
like Eve before Adam,
the apple, the curse,
before everyone was busy trying to know everyone else.
I think of myself as Joan of Arc,
but then decide Joan--both of Arc and of 51st and Maple--
wouldn't dare be naked in Church.
Then again, I wouldn't normally either.
However, I conclude I would not be truly naked.
My clit would still be covered (as always)
due to the discreet (and discerning?) nature of female genitalia.
This being the case, the eyes of Baby Jesus would remain pure,
the old men would not blush
and I am quite sure the pastor would still bless me because he's Protestant.
I find that Protestants (as opposed to Catholics)
tend to be more relaxed about these sorts of things
—rolling around naked on top of the figurative body of Christ.
I hike the nylons up over my hips and adjust the crotch.
I have a hard time believing Jesus died on the cross
to save myself from my clit.
I smile at all the men (Kevin, Rob, Sam, etc.)
who pass by my receptionist's desk
--I've been told it's company policy to do so (smile that is).
They wink, wave, offer me pats on the ass and quickies in the Xerox room.
I continue to smile, laugh, thank them for the offer
and silently curses my clit, the cause of the attention.
Later, when their wives call the office, I suggest they read Cosmo,
hoping they'll take the "Is He a Cheater?" quiz.
The wives assume I am a lesbian because my hair and nails are rather short.
Unaware that lesbians have access to Cosmo,
they are somewhat surprised by my recommendation.
However, since they already have lifetime subscriptions,
they thank me for my thoughtful suggestion.
I am still not speaking to my clit.
My clit is still not speaking to me,
or anyone for that matter.
Resisting the temptation to confront my clit,
I call Joan to discuss a re-occurring dream:
"I'm standing in the middle of the street,
like in a Western.
From out of nowhere, a man saunters up
—and I say saunters because he didn't walk,
it was more of a John Wayne waddle.
When he finally manages to Duke his way up to me
I start to feel like Clint Eastwood with tits.
He jerks his head in this slow, cowboy way and says,
‘Hey you, I called you a bitch.
What are you gonna do about it, bitch?'
I lower my lashes and grind the heel of my stiletto and say,
“So he says, 'Yeah, that's right.'
“Before I know it,
I'm beating the shit out of him—elbowing him in the ribs,
kneeing him in the balls.
When he finally falls to the ground moaning and stuff,
I place my shoe, heel first, on his chest.
I reach down and rip the tie from his neck,
wrapping it around my head Rambo-style.
Then, with my red lipstick,
I write BITCH across his forehead."
"Yeah, that's really weird. I gotta go."
I decide to have a chicken potpie for dinner.
Between bites of tasty, flaky crust, I discuss with my cat,
Fido, Joan's inability to fulfill a man.
I speculate (according to rumors in the office)
it is due to the intense frigidity of Joan's crotch,
a common side effect of Cosmo.
I purposely leaves her clit out of the conversation.
I have just bought new moisturizer.
Cosmo promises it will have me
radiating, illuminating, gyrating, gravitating, deviating
and manipulating in less than a week.
I am surprised it is only for my face.
I smoothe it on and wait for results.
Inspired by my dream, I decide to send the wives
--Karen, Rita, Sharon (etc.)--anonymous letters:
Dear beloved wife of (fill in the blank with coordinating bastard),
Your husband is a pig. Thought you should know.
Enclosed is a Xerox of his dick.
I reconsider the closing.
I'm not sure I like the reformed prostitute reference.
I resent the implication that it is the prostitute who needs reforming
and not the man who pays her.
I decide on:
Sincerely, A Concerned Clit.
I fold the letters and slip them into envelopes
along with black and white copies of Phil's dick
(a framed Christmas present).
I assume one Xeroxed dick must look like another and lick the glue.
I have successfully ignored my clit for a month
and now wonder if maybe I was being too harsh,
too unreasonable, expecting too much from something so small.
I still have yet to radiate, illuminate, gyrate, gravitate,
deviate or manipulate like Cosmo promised.
I consider rubbing some moisturizer on my clit,
thinking maybe I misread the label.
I think about it for a moment, but then decides against it,
not sure I really want those kinds of results.
I sigh and open the small, blue metal door in front of me.
Looking at the letters, I whisper, "Truce,"
and drop them in one at a time.
by K. Nanaziashvili