Cellulite & Stretchmarks

Cellulite & Stretchmarks


I outgrew myself at an early age. Insufficient time for my skin and mind to adjust to the change.  8. Teased being the only girl in a training bra in third.  9. Stared and pointed at and a 34C in 4th. 10. Cornered and and assumed to be up for grabs and a 36D in 5th.  Who turned out the lights in the bathroom? What I would have given then to be able to shed that too small skin and slither away. 

Pause writing, 4:01 a.m. 4/29/2020

I just recovered a partial memory. Just this moment. I'm remembering being assaulted in the bathroom at Richland Elementary in 5th grade. It's gotta be late fall of 1987. I was in the stall and the lights went out. I remember hearing boys laughing.  I came out of the stall, and I was so disoriented. I remember hitting my head on something: stall door, wall, something as I tried to get out. I remember finally making it to the door and pushing (pulling?) and it not opening and screaming let me out. Then I hear laughing outside the door—this is planned because someone is out there holding it closed or blocking it.  I don’t know if this is 5th and 6th graders or adults. I think it’s gotta be 6th graders because the only male teacher is Mr. Lemmon and I know what he sounds like. And it’s not Larry the Custodian because I don’t hear his keys or smell cigarettes. What exactly did or didn’t happen next, I don’t know because that’s where it ends. And it’s probably for the best. I don’t even remember getting out of the bathroom. But every other detail is so vivid. I even remember i had on my new pale blue Liz Claiborne overalls with a cotton candy pink rayon shirt, navy flats, pearl earrings, that lip gloss that tints to match your skin and clear mascara.  Very fashionable. It was the 80s.  I started chanting “Somebody’s in here” over and over when the lights first went out because I thought maybe it was Larry the Custodian closing and locking the bathroom for the afternoon. I remember being terrified I’d be locked in the bathroom at school overnight. And oh my God, 33 years later I still do  that if I’m in a public restroom and hear the door open.  It  actually does happen just like in the movies. I started to hyperventilate.  My heart started racing. Blood was roaring in my ears. My vision got blurry. I got really flushed and scared feeling. I felt paralyzed and trapped and wanted to cry. Basically all the components of an anxiety/panic attack. Even though I don't remember the salacious details, I wonder how it shaped (warped?) and affected me. Did it happen more than once? I think perhaps it did because I've been told that at this point I was acting strangely and doctors asked if my brothers were molesting me. And perhaps that's cruelest fact. I have no memories from that year of my life due to a neurologcal illness that nearly killed me so to recover THIS and not something beautiful with my family nauseates and angers me. 


Resume poem 5:38 a.m., 4/26/2020


So what you see are battle scars. Wounds of war. Proof that I prevailed.  These dents and dimples aren’t cellulite. They’re hail damage from all the beatings life has rained down on me.  And I’m not a car so I can’t just go to the “body” shop, and I won’t trade me in for a different model.  The outside may be a 7, but the engine of my mind is 12 cylinders and always at full throttle. So I’ll use some cover up when needed, smooth things out with Spanx.  And to all of you who’ve proven true, you’ve got my deepest thanks. I’m sorry, am I mixing my metaphors? I get a little confused sometimes, but that’s what this piece of metal’s for. Sometimes you gotta do a little cutting and sculpting to get things into place. And by that I mean excise, debride and cauterize the people, things and thoughts—even if it’s you—that are hindering your pace. Wrap the wound, let it heal and then you’ll come back stronger. And don’t keep on picking at it, that just makes recovery take longer. Therapy is painful and so is growth, but it’ll give you a story to tell and some lessons to teach. 

So bring me your tales of victory over vice, triumph over tragedy and, “PREACH ON IT, BROTHER & SISTER, PREACH!!”

Because this is the safe place for people like us, the place where all the lost socks find their matches. 

The place where people appreciate the flawed perfection of a girl like me, and see that I’m still a Bentley even if I’ve got a few door dings and scratches. 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

This was painful. I almost put the recovered memory here, but I felt it needed to be part of the story. 

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we get older and wiser, and

we get older and wiser, and memories we get often enough

ron parrish