Swallowing

Swallowing

I have no problem swallowing sometimes — in spite of the taste it often leaves in my mouth. Certainly it’s not something my mother would ever advise me to do. Call it feminism. Call it Catholicism. But what she doesn’t tell you, what your girl-friends don’t tell you, is that they’ve all done it. It’s an uncomfortable topic, I realize, to admit having been on your knees. That tears sometimes ran down your face. No one ever told me to suck it up and take a deep gulp. That sometimes the act of not fighting, of not pushing a nonsense of an issue, made everything better in the end. No one told me. I just listened. To the women. “I don’t know what came over me. It was so unlike me.” To the men. “It was crazy.” The thing is, crazy can happen to even the sanest girl. It almost feels supernatural when it washes over you. To lose control like that. To project insecurities. To expose your inner deviant. To do things you never thought you would do. Things you promised yourself you would never do. And then, as you watch the sticky aftermath of the situation, you light a cigarette and ask yourself where you took the wrong fork in the road. But sometimes, as you rag the mess away, you can see through the crazy. That sometimes emotion needs to be eliminated. That sometimes it’s really black and white. That sometimes you need to tell your imagination to take a vacation. That you can’t enjoy the sweet without the salt. And that’s when you do what none of the other women tell you they do: you choke it down and say, “I was wrong. I’m sorry.”