Mamie Stevenson

Labial


ISSUE 70 | SAFE | DEC 2016

I got my period early on Wednesday morning. It was as if the woman inside of me collapsed and bled, dying for one more chance. To make matters worse, I had a Brazilian wax scheduled later in the day; I had made the appointment in advance and I would be charged if I didn’t go. Besides, I was going to Hawaii and I hadn’t shaved anything on my body in months.

When I arrived at the salon the esthetician, a sweet blonde from another part of the world, tried to put me at ease. I am often humiliated at these things, but I had already spent too much of my embarrassment on the American people the previous night and so I got naked from the waist down.

I lay down on my back, servile.

“Open your legs like a butterfly,” she said.

I did.

After a moment of silence, she attempted conversation. “So,” she began, hot wax on my labia, “Donald Trump is going to be our new president…what do you think of that?” First rip of the hair—it always comes as a surprise.

I looked up at the ceiling then turned my head to the wall. “I don’t feel great about it,” I said, dejected.

Did she not see me dress in all black? Did she not notice the dark circles under my eyes? the smudged mascara? Had she not heard me crying before I walked in her door, smelled the booze? Had she not shared the same moment that played over and over in my head last night? Red, red, red, red, red, I looked and it was getting redder. Had she not felt the blood rush to her knees? Had she not heard me yelling, “how did this happen, how the fuck did this happen?” Had she not panicked too, grabbing her heart, eyes welling, body shaking, stomach dropping, heaving and heaving? Hot wax, rip of the hair.

“Now, roll onto your side and hug your knees,” she said.