One time in high school, during one of the times when everyone was writing each other letters, even though they would see each other every day, I was writing an inspired letter to a friend and the general theme was menstruation – written in red ink, drawn-on drips down the side of the page, puddles here and there, maybe even a bloody tampon cartooned somewhere (Please no), so anyway. Dad walks in to say something and I’m sitting at my desk with the obligatory study lamp glaring onto the red-ruined white page and of course, sees what I’m doing (decorating/ defacing). He glances; we exchange pleasantries; he exits; my pen picks up where it left off.
Was he grossed out? At the time I thought he would have been, I certainly was. If course, now, I know what husbands witness their wives going through so he probably wasn’t even. Was he glad that I was owning it rather than letting it own me? I had been owned by my period for a long time because obvs, that shit is freaky and gross and scary. Blood in ya junk. Picture Jason Stackhouse overloaded on V, scared and alone with blood in his junk and not happy with what comes next. Not quite that extreme with the needle but a good camparison generally.
Now, I’m wondering if characters that I’m writing should be casual in their references to periods and rags and all things monthly-related, because that’s what grown ups do, apparently. I have 3 young boys so I’m not really casually mentioning it myself, except when a friend comes over and we joke about synchronizing cycles. But that doesn’t change the fact that bleeding from ya junk is gross, even as an aside to beautiful and useful nature doing wonderful things. Maybe real women do have those conversations, but I was never a single in a share house, so I don’t know. I suppose if it was funny, then I could stomach reading stuff, but that’s not empowering readers, though. It shouldn’t have to be funny, it should just be real.
(deliberating while Husband snores)
K. I will try and put nonchalant blood in an upcoming storyline. Over and out.