natures fortune cookie
every vagina is different. generally i'd follow that statement with "...and all are beautiful" but as my gynecologist delicately pointed out one visit, "there is nothing beautiful about open sores and communicable diseases...healthy vaginas are beautiful." i suppose being in a profession where on any given day you could find yourself forearm deep in the herpes-speckled snatch of a stranger, it's easy to see how one might lose sight of the specialness of vagina's and become jaded.
much like a fortune cookie, vagina's hide life lessons deep inside. when i was seven a vagina taught me that life is unpredictable and oft times uglier than we envision. even at that tender age, i came to the all-too-adult notion that the universe has some fucked up ways of exposing us to it's truths. very few moments in my childhood do i remember as vividly as my first encounter with another woman's genitals...please note: i do not say this with any sense of pride.
it was my first sleepover birthday party hosted by none other than the popular girls of elementary school. i couldn't contain my joy. new house, new smell, new experiences; it was going to be a great night, all i had to do was not be weird.
clearly, i was destined for failure.
as the girls huddled around a table full of glitter, markers, pens and paper, my nose pulled me elsewhere. in my own little world on the floor of the laundry room, i crawled around sniffing everything. instead of leading to a life of coke binges and huffing paint, i hoped that my keen sniffer would simply lead me to the smell source. after all, i was investigating a suspicious scent (which, to be honest wasn't as suspicious as it was just shitty). the other girls undoubtedly got a whiff but they lacked my nancy-drew-like curiosity for the unexplained and chose to color bears and flowers instead.
unbeknownst to me, slinking around an unfamiliar house and rummaging through boxes of christmas decorations is frowned upon- it might even cause one to never be invited back to said house. moments before i lifted a towel off what i would later find out was a dog cage (with one very ill, shit-covered dog inside) a dainty hand of shocking strength pulled me up off the floor and ushered me back to the party.
"wouldn't you rather be drawing poinsettias like the rest of the girls?" the birthday girl's mother asked in a tone that said, "seriously you little snoop- sit, color and stay outta my shit." she went on to explain how the dog was dying and i shouldn't bother him. her honesty was refreshing but did result in a horrified expression on my cherubic face. at the sight of this her story quickly changed to 'the dog ate chocolate, leave him alone' and my smile sheepishly returned.
her hair was wound tightly around rollers and her nightgown wreaked of zest. her blood red nails coupled with the bright blue veins bulging from her hands had me all but convinced that she was going to turn us all into rats later (a la witches) but after feeding us poisionless chinese food i figured we were in the clear.
the night began to wind down and the slumber bags were unrolled. as i wiggled my way deep inside the cocoon of cotton and polyester i felt satisfied. i had managed to survive the party being only borderline bizarre with one, lone witness- my friend's mother.
the line between being conscious and drifting into the REM cycle was finally beginning to blur when a loud sound awoke me. it was a person coming down the stairs. terrified that someone was breaking in, i shut my eyes as tight as i could and waited for them to leave.
that would have been a fine plan, had the stranger left promptly and not begun to walk around amongst the sleeping pre-teens. i could feel the footsteps march closer towards my beloved garfield sleeping bag until finally, the steps stopped. peeking out between the web woven by sleep, i could make out that this stranger was standing above me- a foot at each of my ears. now in legitimate fear for my life, my seven year old eyes opened as wide as they could to see my attacker and hopefully stave off death.
that's when it happened.
turns out my 'attacker' was also my friend's mother who had popped back in to check on us. another fun turn of events was my friend's mother also appreciates the ease and comfort of pantie-less living. it's like that moment when you catch yourself staring into the sun. reason tells you that it's likely burning your retina and you should stop but some strange mixture of curiosity and self-loathing prevents you from doing that. her vagina stared back at me and gave me a sideways smile.
it was the only time i've ever been horrified upon the sight of another womans genitals. quite frankly, it's shocking i'm gay having such a traumatizing experience as my first vagina spotting. the entire ordeal proved to be a worthwhile one, for i did learn a valuable lesson that cold (but not cold enough for underwear) winter night. metaphorically or otherwise, we all are blinded by unpleasant truths in life. it might be uncomfortable or painful momentarily but in the long run- it's just life, it's just a vagina.