But my hair is OK – With Real Toads

DSCN0102

Whose idea was it

– please enlighten me –

back in the eighties

to instal changing rooms in clothes shops

with no privacy?

Mirrors were no friend of mine at home

let alone when in the company of svelte girls.

Harsh-lit under lighting

guaranteed to magnify my cellulite

and glint on the mouthful of metal

glued to my teeth by a dentist with no pity for

teenage sensitivity.

I was encircled by girls –

with perfect hair

with perfect bodies

with perfect teeth

with perfect make up.

Whose idea was it, I ask you?

It was the school changing rooms all over again

and the dash through the communal showers

as fast as I could without slipping over on those

god-awful brown and yellow tiles.

 

I still hate shopping for clothes –

thighs too robust to fit in jeans

knees too chunky for on-the-knee skirts

biceps too muscly for long sleeved shirts.

 

I like my hair though.

It’s too wild and woolly for fashion these days.

But about that one thing, I don’t care.


 

Over at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Magaly is hosting and asks us to write about one of three bees – the Queen Bee, the bee that works the hardest or the bee that doesn’t fit in. Of course I chose the latter. I don’t feel that I’ve ever fitted in anywhere really (although the writing and art community seems to be suiting me rather well these days!). That not fitting in thing was certainly a theme of my growing up…

Please head on over to The Garden, have a good read and if you feel inspired, join in!

Porpoise – Magpie Tales

Tooker Bathers-George-Tooker-1950

Cassie hated the changing rooms and the feeling of being sized up, assessed, compared and found wanting by the other women. With their sleek limbs, muscles rippling under their skin, and flat stomachs, oh yes, she could imagine their thoughts as their eyes travelled up and down her own mis-shapen, lumpy body in revulsion.

She wished she could wear a sign hanging from her neck, explaining to people who she was, what she had been through, how much it took out of her to come here every week, how the memories assaulted her every time she passed through the doors and the chlorine tickled the back of her throat. But that just wasn’t the done thing. And she didn’t want pity, just recognition.

“Excuse me, I’m sorry, aren’t you..?” a teenaged girl was swiping her index finger furiously over her phone, looking first at Cassie, then down again.

“Oh, I can swim, even though it looks impossible. Well, kind of, anyway,” Cassie plastered a smile on her face, practised but not yet used to the sharp stab of pain in her heart. ‘Not the pity, not the pity,’ she thought.

“No! No! It’s not that! You’re Cassie Anderlecht, aren’t you? The Olympic swimmer..?”

“I was the Olympic swimmer, once, yes,” Cassie sighed. “Not any more, as you can see.”

The girl looked Cassie full in the face, ignoring the crutches, the ill-fitting swimsuit, the twisted legs, the scars that bore witness to the story of her past.

“But you’re still Cassie Anderlechts. I’m so very pleased to meet you.”

—–

Here’s this week’s entry into Magpie Tales. Please visit here for more creativity, and why not take part, if you feel the urge!