January 13, 2010

Erica

I still remember my first. We were great together and I learned so many things. I was young and naive and eventually he started to take advantage. I had barely even started working and he’d want half my check. Needless to say it didn’t end well. That’s when I had my revelation; a revolution in my mind. I became so idealistic. Why can’t I have equality? I don’t have to be subservient to any man.

I started off slow. Sure, there were bumps in the road but I was making progress. I did things I wasn’t proud of when I was young, haven’t we all? Then it seemed my bad decisions were adding up, haunting me. I was tearing myself apart. I couldn’t take it anymore. I cut myself, in half. It was the darkest time of my life but I made it through. My wounds healed, but scars remained.

Time marched on. I’m middle aged now. I’m stronger, but still haven’t come into my own. Suddenly, I was forced to finally grow up. I put all of my inner demons aside and used all my might to fight what was, at the time, the biggest battle of my life. Eventually, I triumphed. I licked my wounds and came out on top. I finally had the respect of my peers and times were great. Then I got careless and blew all my money on Wall Street. I was poor, but still proud. I had the will and the courage to make it through tough times; I knew that about myself already.

I slowly but surely started making my fortune back. That is until an even greater fight made me stop caring about myself and stand up for the greater good. At first I was hesitant, but a woman can only take so much. I mobilized every asset I had and dug in for another fight the likes of which no one now could understand, and with any luck will never have to. Again, I came out victorious. After that I decided to settle down and have a few kids. I had some other fights after that. Not the same scale but no less difficult or hard on my family.

One day I just got sick of it. Is it too much to ask for a little peace? I might have been much older but I found I wasn’t completely jaded. That young, idealistic girl that just wanted love was still inside me somewhere. I’d gotten so used to fighting that I’d forgotten what I was even fighting for. I’d had my mid-life crisis a little late. So many different ideas swirling around in my head. Am I the warrior or the lover? I was divided for a time but eventually moved on.

I’m an old woman now. I’ve been there, done that. You can’t surprise me anymore, or so I thought. One day, out of the blue, I was savagely hit in the face. At the time I didn’t even know who it was. My eye was blackened and I was fuming. There is still some fight left in this old girl yet. I lashed out at everyone. It didn’t matter if they had a connection to my wound or not! I was fucking pissed and I swore I’d never let anyone hit me again. I brought the wrath of God down on anyone I suspected of wanting to hurt me. Was it logical? Hell no! But it felt good.

Now I’m trying to pick up the pieces for reacting the way I did. I’m an old woman and I need someone younger to help rejuvenate me, bring me new life. I just want happiness, is that too much to ask?

I, Am Erica.


7 comments:

  1. Wow....this was amazing. And easy to identify with, as I've been through her early phases. Frightening, in a way. Beautiful.

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  2. I enjoyed this piece of writing from an older woman's perspective. It makes me wonder if I'll be of a similar mind when I am older... Thank you for sharing this.

    Nevine

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  3. I like the use of I, Am Erica in reference to the United States and how you paralleled it to the life of a very strong woman. I'm not American, so I have no real emotional take on the piece, but it was really clever, and I didn't know exactly what you were talking about until the very end... which made my opinions about Erica very unbiased. It's the sort of piece you have to read twice. It reminds me of some Patrick Lane poetry I read recently where he parallels Canada to a young boy.

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  4. so reading it the second time it is so clever how you discussed when the US became autonomous and the american revolution, both world wars and the depression and now the war on terrorism. It seems more admirable when reading about a strong woman than a country... makes you take things in a different light.

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  5. I'm glad you enjoyed it Kristyn. I'm going to have to check out this Patrick Lane.

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  6. He's a very famous Canadian poet.. but that probably means he's only famous in Canada loll. The poem I was referring to is called "Dominion Day Dance" which was the name of Canada Day before Canada really identified as its own country and not just a colony of Britain. It's good.

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  7. He might be famous everywhere! I don't really read as much poetry as I probably should. I'll check it out though.

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