Monday, 1 August 2016

Hanging women by Donna Spector

Hanging Women

By Donna Spector

Celandine is 30, insistently cultured & intellectual, neurasthenic, repressed, melodramatic, and always on the edge of hysteria. She speaks to her mother, Alicia, and sister, Peony as she climbs up on a chair, clutching a radio, which plays Mozart softly.
CELANDINE:
I don't need men anymore. I did, I admit, spend years looking for my perfect mate. The dark side who would let me see my bright side. And the other way around, like a two-way mirror. I wanted someone staring in my eyes, not in an unnerving way, but showing me he listens, he appreciates who I am. Someone to cook with, not chicken, but lobster thermidor, steak tartare, asparagus quiche. He holding the bowl and I the spoon, in perfect synchronicity. Someone who loves to hear me read Edna St. Vincent Millay by wine-laced candlelight on Saturday nights. Who will read me Wallace Stevens over coffee and oranges Sunday mornings. Someone for whom I could buy silk underwear and paint my toenails silver. Even shave my legs--they have gotten so hairy! A fire-builder, a door-holder, who doesn't condemn me for reading Cosmopolitan as well as The New Yorker. Someone who will riffle the hairs at the back of my neck, nibble my ear lobe in elevators, who will hold me, because my body is so lonely, it has forgotten the human touch. 
But now I understand these are adolescent fantasies. I don't need a man wrapped around me in bed, warming the sheets on freezing nights. And I am perfectly content to eat, not chicken, but a single artichoke and an isolated glass of wine. I like to open doors, fires are clich├ęd, poetry does not need to be shared, and I adore cotton underpants that make me look like a female wrestler. So I have no pressed flowers in fading photo albums. What if I get no love letters in blue envelopes and the phone stays silent and black. Why have a color phone when there is no man in your life? What do I care? I shall never have a broken heart or a vaginal infection. Men always disappoint you, and I choose to be disappointed with no one but myself. There is such freedom in this decision. I am finally an adult, responsible for my own existence. 
(She opens her arms wide.)
I embrace the status quo, and I shall die, unremittingly alone, in an old, rotting house by the sea! 

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