Updated Art History 1102 Syllabus Spring 2018
2 months ago
Dear preppy girls,
Why do you dress up as Goths for Halloween? I know that Party City makes this relatively easy on you. After all, you can buy a little Goth Girl outfit in a plastic bag. You can even get matching accouterments, like black lipstick, pointy bracelets, and long purple wigs.
I helped a girl in birkenstock shoes and a polo shirt find black lipstick in a makeup store the other day. When I asked her why she would want such a thing, she happily informed me she was going to be a goth for Halloween. She then proceeded to show me the all-black ensemble she had picked up for her costume. Had I not been informed of her outfit choice, I would have thought she was going as Bret Michaels (a much funnier choice of costume, indeed).
So, it's creepy, you know? It's just a little weird that you're all dressing up as me circa 2004 for a holiday. I mean, why not just raid my closet? I could certainly provide something more authentic than a strange 40-year-old-rocker-looking-for-love outfit that you've prepared. At least do me justice. Seriously.
I'm just letting you know that as epic payback for your sucky costume, I'm going to dress as you this year. That's right, you! I'm going to prance around in a semi-drunken stupor in Uggs and Abercrombie shirts. I'm going to spray so much fake-tanner on myself I'm going to glow an eerie, translucent orange. I'm even going to smear a little powdered sugar on my nostrils, because real cocaine is just too darn expensive.
Hannah awoke to the sunlight pouring in through her window. Her arm flopped over across the bed into the empty space beside her.
He had left.
She knew it would happen. They never stayed for long, playing their way into her heart and leaving in the midst of the night. She wriggled in the bed and pulled her covers over her shoulders and close to her neck, placing her chin over the edge of the blankets and locking the fabric into place.
Not as warm as his body was. She barely remembered his name. It had started with a ‘J’… or perhaps a ‘T’? She wasn’t sure. Her bare feet remained cold under the covers. Winter had that effect on her body. No matter what, her feet seemed to remain cold.
She tucked them in, close to her bare body in the fetal position, wrapping her arms around herself. She shivered ever so slightly beneath the covers. Her lips pressed together tightly in a state of near frustration. The emotion she felt at that moment could not exactly be described… not by her anyway. She had felt this feeling a thousand times before. Each time she let a man into her life, for one night, he left before the next day, leaving her to wake up alone… and for today… cold as well.
She didn’t want to get out of the bed. She would wait a while.
She shivered again.
She wished for that body again, that warm body which held hers the night before. When the arms of a man held her, she felt as if nothing could touch her. She felt the need to get as close as she could to them—even if that meant removing her clothes.
Protection was all she wanted… protection from the world's judgments, assumptions, and hatreds toward her. She only wanted to feel the arms of one next to her each night, knowing he would be there the next morning to kiss her and tell her it would all be okay.
But they all left before dawn… all back to their own lives, carrying on as if she never existed. She would only be a memory to them—only a memory.
But to her, each man had been much more until she awoke the next day to their vacancy. Each of them had crept into her heart for one ephemeral moment. Yet then they ripped themselves away, as if they had been caught by the fear of staying forever. She only wanted the same hand to hold, lips to kiss, and a shoulder to cry on. She wanted the same ones to be there for years and years again. Yet her confounded reputation always got in the way.
Others saw Hannah as easy—bedded in one night, and left naked in the dark. And though she had to admit to herself the truth of this common assumption…
She hated it.
Hannah’s desperation had led to her own demise. A demise before death. She lived as an empty shell for anyone to fill as they pleased with their lustful instincts.
She stirred from her rest, moving her legs to get out from underneath the covers. Her thin arms removed the covers from her naked body as she moved to sit up in the bed. She stretched her arms out in the sunlight, yawning as she did so.
She had to try again. She had to find love. She needed to be loved.
Hannah would go to find another man. But this time it would work, this time she wouldn’t be left in the middle of the night. She would be so good to him, give him such an experience that he would never leave her.
She examined her frail shadow on the floor opposing the window. What was the matter with her? Why did men refuse to stay with her for more than the night? Why did all of them leave before dawn?
Hannah walked delicately across the room and out the door, crossing the hallway into her bland bathroom. She turned on the shower and waited for the hot water to turn on. She examined her body in the mirror.
She couldn’t see anything absolutely repulsive about her… Was it her boobs? No… she had always been satisfied with her breasts. She always wore clothing that showed them a little, hoping men would notice. They usually did. Men could never refuse her.
Was it the small pudge on her stomach that drove them off? Could she not move correctly in the night? Was her touch not soft enough, not hard enough, not warm enough? She shook her head and noticed the steam coming out from behind the shower curtain.
She briskly moved it aside and stepped in, letting the water fall around her. Her hands moved through her hair as she brushed it back, filling each strand with water.
She fell back against the wall of the shower, breathing deeply as she did so. Her frail body slid down to the bottom of the shower against the wet wall. Hannah’s hands covered her face.
Was it her face?
Could it be the pointed nose?
The little mole above the left side of her mouth?
Her blank brown eyes?
Her small mouth?
What could it be?
What could it be that made her so repulsive?
A droplet of water which came not from the shower trailed down the side of her cheek.
She realized her fate.
She could only be what she was.