It has finally happened after twenty years.
I live alone in my house, no men, no noise, no demands for food or rides, this or that, “Mom can you help me!” “C’mon, let’s go to the store”.
My son’s dad died two years ago…the last time I saw him was Christmas Day. Five days later, he was gone. I barely eeked out a smile as I said goodbye. He had been pretty emotionally abusive to me, frustrated his whole life, not knowing he was high-functioning autistic savant until three months beforehand. My efforts at solace could not change his brain, but he was a music legend on the pile of my torn apart heart. In addition, my son did not see him respect me; the fruits of patriarchy.
Three months later my fiance died. I had fifteen minutes notice. We loved each other and did everything for each other. It was not to be. He had not taken care of his body and it caught up with him.
Now four days ago, my nineteen-year-old son went out the door with his backpack and no notice to start his hero’s adventure quest which is his birthright. Good for him but he could have warned me! It reminded me of the sudden death of my fiance.
On his way out of course, he was mad at me and said I was so selfish. I suppose because I take care of myself. I wonder if he thought of his words effect on me, skipping them like stones across the water? Doubtful at his age.
But the men walk out quickly and don’t return I’ve learned, to the other side of this world…or town. It doesn’t matter. They’re not with me.
It is so peaceful in this house without a raucous male. Part of me has waited twenty years to take my body back from my partners and my son, and before that, a line of men, but not a long line.
Now I get an adventure quest; a fresh start, the second half of my life, a thriving business, a home, free to do whatever I want and a body with no risk of pregnancy. I haven’t given it all away.
It’s like this secret I have as a fifty-four-year-old who no one would suspect and assumes in our youth-worshipping culture, female-sacrificing altars around every corner, that I’m all washed up.
“Hasn’t that woman been laid flat yet? Well, why not?”
“She’s selfish!” they cry.
Truth is, I am my own best friend and for the first time in my life, I’m taking care of my body for me and no one else. More and more women are doing it. I’m not alone. We still have work to do and adventure quests to commence. Ridiculous isn’t it.
I feign an attitude and a bird ready to flip until my dying day…because I said so.