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an imperfect metaphor

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The heart is a minefield. you’re going along, going along, and then someone comes across the boundary and wham!–you’re flattened against the stone fence over to the north there, all damp with sweat and breathing heavy.She reaches for you and you stretch your hand to touch her fingers and then she pulls  you up. and you’re there, then. together in the minefield. Still. breathing.

“I can’t…” maybe you whisper that. Because you’re afraid to move. you’ve been there, picking your way through that mine field all alone, and you know the exact way to get to water. and to flowers. and to the squat rack. It’s way easier all alone, when you have your path picked out. Then along she comes, and the path you’ve picked out is too narrow for two. And besides, she doesn’t like doing squats.

She tells you, in a whisper, too, lest the sound of her voice, heavy with wanting, (wanting you cause of all those squats, your legs are very shapely, and you’ve been smart enough all these years to find the flowers in the minefield) trigger one of the mines–she tells you that she wants to find a way through the minefield together. She says she wants what you want. She says you will be safe and loved with her. What she says makes the path wider, and you trust her and you hand over the stick you have used to probe your way.

you hand it over.

She says she understands because she has suffered, too. She says she has never felt this way before. She says she will be beside you forever and you will together find your way out of the minefield and live happily ever after.

you’re not sure you want out of the field, though. you might want to just defuse the mines, invite more friends, plant a garden, hang a heavy bag near the squat rack…

and she doesn’t like your friends, and she thinks you can do better and she wants you to get out of the minefield altogether. She thinks, however, that the way to get out of it is to buy your way out. build a path out with new jackets and wheels of triple-cream brie and paddle out with a new kayak–She puts her head down and goes, dragging you along behind her, you struggling to keep up, and dancing this way and that as she triggers one explosion after another, oblivious to the damage. You try from your position following, to yank her away from tell-tale signs– a dip in the earth here, a charred pile of bones there, but she is oblivious. Protected by the stuff she has around her. the shrapnel bounces off the layers and layers of new clothes and home decor items and personal flotation devices and garden hose attachments–

but you don’t have that stuff, and you and she are not the same size so you don’t have the protection her stuff might extend to you. she sees that. You don’t see it. She thinks she is dragging you along. She thinks you are pulling her back. You think you are guiding her away from the craters and unexploded bombs. She thinks you are squishing her. She thinks you are not brave. You think she is mighty.

She is just as scared as you, though. She just has more padding.

Finally she flings you off, back against the north wall again, and tears off out of your part of the mine field. “you’re a good person” she hollers over her shoulder, “you’ll make me walk right on top of one of these bombs, though, i have to go” and she dances reckless away, stepping here and there and the shrapnel from the bombs and the soft petals of exploded flowers rains down on your head as she tumbles over the edge of the ravine on the east edge and vanishes. Protected. Gone.

She still has your stick, too. Dammit.

Oh well.

This is an imperfect metaphor. Maybe i’ll try to figure it out. maybe not…

About easilyriled

My mom was Edith, my dad was John. I have a brother, who is Shawn. I have many friends and allies and mentors in my life. I'm white, over-educated, working in a field for which I am not yet trained, messy, funny, smart, lesbian, feminist "Not the fun kind", as Andrea Dworkin said. But I, like the feminists I hang with, ARE fun. Radical feminism will be the roots of our shared liberation. Rejection of sex-stereotypes (gender) and male domination will give us wings.

One response »

  1. anyway. the squat rack is still right there where it always was. and the flowers are growing back. And the friends never left, they just took cover for a while…


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