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My Los Angeles Femininity

I was told that they are trying to figure out how to transport snow from places that are all white to the desert that is all brown and thirsty for any kind of precipitation. My sister told me this. She lives in Boston where the snow is above stop signs and cars are buried alive.

They say it is the coldest winter in years. Yet they say that every year, just like they say it is the driest winter in Los Angeles. This year though it may be accurate on both accounts.

I sit outside in the sun of dry Los Angeles and try to understand. I allow my limbs to sprawl. The sun kisses them kindly, just as the moon hugs them at night. The breeze cools my flushed from exercise skin. My arm has turned my Sternberg triangle of love to the sun. I squint one eye closed, and then the other to see if there is a difference in the way each eye perceives the three simple black lines. There is no difference.

After a significant time of thinking about global warming, I become overwhelmed. I mosey to the black and white bathroom to clean myself of my exercise and my worry. The black and white tiles surrounding the bathtub are all that are left of the bathroom that we moved into. The previous house owners were Greek and I guess the bathroom was a reflection of Greek tradition.

I turn the gold handles in the bathtub that is black. The hot water takes a while to warm up, which is not conducive to our drought, but I am not motivated enough, unaware of the direct effects of the drought, to take a half cold shower. I wait.

I bent at my hips to get closer to the mirror. I had to see the thick black line I was tracing on the part of my eyelid that the lashes grew from. I was a human angle with feet spread into second position, firmly sticking to the ground.

I had just inspected this body. Watching my distorted rib cage, as one of the ribs floats freely. Someone once said to me “It’s weirdnesses like those that remind me how completely human we are.” It resonated with me. I have a tree tattooed to the side of the cage that has all the ribs. The few who have seen it asks what it signifies. I tell them it changes daily

Today it’s like a fingerprint or my floating rib. Idiosyncratic.

I turn in all angles in front of the mirror, as I inspect this body that I love most of the time. Sometimes I hate it. I cock my head as though it will change what I see. I get dressed quickly as though standing in my underwear to long will cause disquiets. Sometimes it does. My jeans hug the hips that I welcomed openly. They tell a story much more indicative of my age than the face that betrays me with childhood youth. I button the top button on my blouse and decide against it, allowing my neck to be free. I stop my hips from swaying to the music that is causing beauty. I form my human angle and I begin to trace the black lines on the tops of my fragile, translucent eyelids.

I think about him watching me. Whoever he is. I wonder if he will find my grooming dance lovely or ridiculous. As I watch my hips move, unable to keep the music from inflowing. It is passed through the circulatory system. Every time my heart pumps it moves a bit further. It comes to the point where I am moving to the melody of my own blood flow.

I find this dance glorious. Every time I watch a friend trace red lipstick onto their lips, or elegantly stroke mascara onto their lashes, because it is impossible not to look elegant in that human angle, your eyes transforming into vibrant and alive. There is a confidence that comes as you highlight the beauty.

I think he will find it beautiful. Whoever he is. He will lean in the doorway and watch without saying anything. These intimate moments when nobody is watching, are the ones I want him to see, because maybe, just maybe they are the beautiful ones. But is it possible for them to keep their beauty as they are shared with somebody else’s eyes?

This is what I was thinking as I was tracing my eyeliner on after allowing my skin to be kissed by the Los Angeles sun.

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