Dear Internet/Whomever it may concern,
Today was like one of those nightmares you have of showing up to school with no pants on except in real life. I was supposed to give a career speech for my 11AM speech class. (I spent three hours preparing for it last night. Two of those hours were spent stalking my favorite artists on the internet and wondering what the hell I'm doing with my life, a half hour of that was spent debating over whether or not I should make a speech about how I want to be a mortician/how sarcastic I would come across if I did and the last half hour was spent actually doing the assignment.) I spent the hour before class practicing the speech and at 10:50 I went to the bathroom to pee before class. That's when I noticed. There was a giant red period stain on my light gray pants. I immediately bolted into the stall and barricaded myself in there. My legs were shaking. This had never happened to me before. I pulled down my pants and assessed the damage. It was bad. My underwear was thoroughly soaked with blood and the stain on my pants spread across the entire crotch and peeked up the butt - visible from the front and back. I had little time for damage control. I was scheduled to stand before my entire class and make a speech in less than ten minutes. I took off my pants and underwear and threw the underwear away in the little silver garbage attached to the stall wall. I stood half naked in my socks and wondered what to do next. I wanted to try and wash off the blood, but people kept coming in and out of the bathroom and I couldn't stand over the sink of a public bathroom in my socks with my hairy bush to scrub blood off the crotch of my pants. I had a white sweater I could tie around my waist but the blood on my pants was still damp and I didn't want it to rub off on the sweater. I (shamefully) resorted to my only option: toilet water.
I flushed the toilet a few times and began dipping wads of toilet paper in the bowl before scrubbing at my pants. A line was forming outside of the stall. Class was about to start. I was pressing soaking wet wads inside my pants, when I looked down and noticed the blood was dripping off my pants and forming a small, watery, bloody puddle on the tile. It was like every embarrassing thing that could have happened, happened. The dark spot on my pants had widened due to my soaking and was now spread across the entire front and back of the pants. It was 11AM. I wouldn't be allowed to make up the speech if I missed it. I took one last toilet paper dipped in toilet water to my pants and pulled them on. I felt the cold, wet pants on my naked butt. I tied my sweater around my waist and let the sleeves dangle in front, covering the wet spot. I was ready. I took a deep breath and power walked to the classroom chanting self-soothing mantras to myself under my breath. I walked into class with an urgent air that I hoped my class mistook for confidence. I made the speech quickly and then left the classroom after telling my teacher I had a work emergency. I went to target and bought a pair of black jeans, underwear and a box of super plus tampons. The cashier scanned my items, red face and the sweater tied around my waist and smirked. I made it back on campus just in time for my next class, poetry, and of course we were reading a collection of poems titled Blood.
I first began writing this letter at 3PM this afternoon, and at the time this story was meant to be an example of isolation, the loneliness/panic of being stranded in a bathroom stall as a metaphor for how I've been feeling as of late - stranded, sort of like a failure, embarrassed, and isolated from everyone around me, like I've been living in my own head too much.
But now this feels like my declaration of independence, a proof of my ability to manage, keep the crisis under wraps while managing to get everything done. I don't know, maybe it's silly. But it's making me feel a bit like an adult.
That's not how this first blog post was supposed to go. I was supposed to tell you why I suddenly felt the NEED TO SHARE & how I've been trying to let go of things and join a larger discussion.
But I'll get around to that. For now, I'm going to start typing up some of the letters I kept in my notebook all summer, and I'm going to wear these black jeans until my period is over and I'm not going to give a single fuck.
A smidge of an Adult