Today my brain is foggy and I'm resisting words. Wanting them to be clever, but not having much clever inside of me.
I keep thinking of a memory.
I am 14 and my friends are giggling at a drawing. Huddled around something I can't see.
I start to feel alone. Like my belly is turning into a cave. I am curling inside. Sweaty. This heat is familiar.
It must be something about me.
They are laughing louder now.
One of them holds up the paper and passes it to me. For some reason I remember us being at the mall. Paused in the food court in front of the lemonade stand. Everything smells like orange chicken.
There are four stick figure drawings. My name above one. Their names above the rest. Each of them have little half moon sketches on the chest, except for mine. The drawing under my name has triangles.
This is the first time I learned that my boobs looked different than my friends. That their's were round and mind were not.
They kept saying, "Pointy Ann. Pointy Ann. Pointy Ann."
I remember not being able to speak. My face hot.
I went home and asked my mom if I could buy a new bra. Padded.
When I lost my virginity my shirt stayed on.
It took me a long time to ever unclip my bra.
Fifteen years later I'm at Burning Man. I'm with a camp within a larger camp run by Dr. Bronners. There is a big foam human car wash, where everyone is naked and dancing, that I get a front of the line pass to. My campmates go each day. I'm nervous my first time.
I take off my clothes and look around. I see very few half moons and many other shapes. I never once see the shape I have deemed as perfect, the shape I'm told I'm supposed to have. The shape that is sold to me. There is literally not a single body here that looks the same. I have not seen one body that is the one I see on Instagram.
I feel shame being sprayed off of me with the sudsing water. I feel looser in my skin. I shake my arms above my head, move my hips, stomp my feet, my chest visible and free.
I imagine drawing after drawing after drawing. All different. All together. All ok.
I imagine teenage girls in malls. Eating. Whatever they want. Not a single one outside of the circle wondering. If she is who is causing all the secret laughter. If she is the one who should run home and hide.