I sat on a soppy feminine pad for most of my teenage years. My mother neglected to leave a tampon offering in the bottom drawer of the bathroom desk; furthermore, she shamed my soppy pad disposal before my dinner had even digested.
“The stuff you are putting in bathroom trashcan…” she squinted through a two-inch crack of my bedroom door.
I was hoping Robert Stack would reach out and grab my mother, making her part of UNSOLVED MYSTERIES, EPISODE 29; but my mother kept gritting her teeth and clenching my bedroom doorknob.
“…you need to wrap that ‘stuff’ up in the new, plastic wrapper, when you get a new one.”
Just saying the word ‘pad’ in front of me made my mother cringe (and myself); and she always referred me to aisle ‘number nine’ at Budget Chopper with,
“If you need any stuff, go down there and get it. I will be on the cereal aisle.”
The door snapped shut and I curled my lip at Robert. The stinging sweat of mortification blasted out of each pore. The thought of my mother critiquing my rolled up, bloody, Kotex-knockoffs made me want to sit over one of my father’s bait buckets for the five to seven days instead of utilizing my mother’s cigarette stained bathroom.
I was always tempted to open the door and politely inform my mother I had been using her brown eyeliner to line my lips and her red Revlon tubes to draw FUCK HERE between my pelvic bones before my evening bath, but I worried that my late night confessions would get me skipped over as my father’s weekend fishing partner, consequentially leaving me stranded in the little, smoke-filled house until the bus could rescue me the following Monday morning.
My father was unaware of my feminine time; and I respected his long baths and shaves in the mornings and evenings. We nodded as we got out of each other’s way in the tiny hallway. He respected my monthly passes on our weekly fishing excursions, yet immediately upon his boat bouncing away, I considered the success rate of burying soppy pads all along the coastline.
I considered the mission of burying my overflowing knockoff Kotexes, like Hansel and Gretel leaving DNA laced breadcrumbs all along the sandy banks, without my father noticing a commotion; but I could hear 101 raccoons barreling over the sand dunes, snickering and moving their little fingers through the sand and the shells. Their teeth gnashed and fought over the soppy rag; and the big, blue crabs hobbled out of the waves and PICK PICK PICKED at the bits of curdled cotton under the summer moonlight. The raccoons stretched and argued over the mesh topping, complete with left overs. My father approached, holding his lantern atop the travesty. “Crabs are bottom feeders,” he spoke.
I was never able to solve the monthly fishing riddle and even considered not changing the pad; even if I bled all over, I could perhaps, pull it off as “I had to cut more bait…” as I held a useless knife in the air to substantiate the claim.
Perhaps I would have been better informed had I met with my father about my condition. Perhaps he could have mentioned that he preferred my mother’s bush trimmed or shaved. Perhaps he could have mentioned the smell associated with a lengthy bush; and that once you reach such a state of disarray, it is encouraged to ‘start fresh.’ Unfortunately, I never had the gall to ask my father about any such of a thing; and with my mother withholding the information, I continued the task of folding up the packet of hair much like I did the binding of my purple trapper keeper.
My production was so grand, in fact, that I found myself performing hair foldings more similar to that of my father when he placed a crisp, five-dollar bill in its polyester pocket. The hair was pulled down and rolled up during time sensitive cases, and kept in place with the assistance of my ever shrinking cotton, brief panties. The high-cuts were tucked in the back of my panty drawer, as they were not efficient in keeping the nest of black wires properly contained.
I had learned at school that certain human hairs, such as eyelashes, arm hair, and eyebrows, would only grow to a certain length. Pubic hair was never mentioned during these discussions, and I secretly searched the INDEX for PUBE, PUBIC, CROTCH, and BUSH, but Mrs. Trinity’s Health handbook was tame and obedient. I passed Mrs. Trinity each day and she peered at my sagging backpack and wild bangs. She was not a candidate to inquire about my vaginal moisture, and it wasn’t until Adam Bender habitually showed interest in my Y that I was educated on groom and care for my Mr. Vagina.
Upon his first “I’m gonna finger you” plunge, Adam had suggested that my feminine odor could, quite possibly, have stemmed from my folded bush. The sasquatch crotch was no match for Adam, and he seemed to enjoy the lingering scent of simmering female secretions. He never visited the sink after his visits; and my mother was unaware of Adam’s intentions, much like her inability to comprehend how I was using up her red Revlon while still leaving the house empty lipped.
Adam was quite the boyfriend; and I was quite the girlfriend. I was funny and wild. I was faithfully devoted to Adam; and even when Julian Romero accused me of meeting him behind the Shop building for an afterschool special, it was consistently confirmed that I wasn’t running amuck and dropping off pussy all over town…it only smelled like I was.
C. Cimmone is a North American writer and comic, specializing in blue and observational comedy, short fiction and narrative nonfiction. Her prose is featured in GNU, Embodied Effigies, The Penmen Review and Belle Reve Literary Journal. Cimmone’s most recent chapbook publication, When I Was Alive, is available on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.