Sunday Reading : Identity/body image, violence, death, & beauty

Closing the Loop : Aria Dean, The New Inquiry
Body Anxiety and a new wave of digifeminist art : Charlotte Jansen, Dazed
Visions : Kate Gaskin, Guernica
The Language of Violence : Danez Smith and Brian Russell, Poetry Foundation
Being Mortal : Zan Boag, New Philosopher
Beauty and Autonomy on the Bike : Claire Tighe, Bird’s Thumb
The strange, sad quest to match a severed, embalmed head with its story : Michael E. Miller, The Washington Post
Deadly Decisions : Ann Neumann in conversation with Sheri FinkGuernica
This Better And Truer History : J.M. Coetzee and Arabella Kurtz, Longreads
The Fruit of My Woman : Han Kang, Granta 

And that’s how I was magically all better

Dear Body,

I realize I should just be thankful that you don’t get sick very often and that your response to stress or poor decisions (such as living off of coffee and crackers) is just a tough love wake-up call to adjust my behavior lest bigger problems emerge down the road, so first of all, let me say thank you. I appreciate your unwillingness to let me get away with behaving like a raccoon trapped in a adult woman’s body. As anyone that has ever lived with me knows, I am not very good at being a living thing. I’d be a much better unicorn, mermaid, or vampire. So, you’re ceaseless slaps on the wrist are useful.

However, I can assure you that on this particular occasion, the occasion of my seemingly endless sickness that lasted through Christmas and appears to intend to plow on through New Year’s Eve, the lesson has been learned and you can stop punishing me. I have plans, mostly work plans, but also plans that involve exercising and eating salad. A real salad. Remember how a few months ago I was thinking, ‘I want do long distance endurance racing on my bicycle so I need to turn into Sarah Connor (T2 version, obvi)’? I wasn’t kidding. This isn’t another ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to be one of those acrobatic strippers?’ moments. And you know what I can’t do when you’re making me dizzy and weak every time I try to be upright for more than 5 minutes? Ride my bicycle.

So, you can stop it now. Focus your energy elsewhere, my friend.

Love,
Jaime

Dear Jaime,

You just want to be well so you can drink and have sex. I know you.

Sincerely,
Body

Dear Vengeful God of a Body,

Yes, I will do those things. I will also take care of myself. Besides, if I can’t have sex, you can’t have sex. Don’t try to convince me that you’re asexual. Remember when I tried to convince us that we’re asexual? It didn’t work then, it’s not going to work now.

Emphatically,
Jaime

Dear She-Beast Trickster Jaime,

Fine.

Some ground rules:
1. Coffee is not breakfast. It’s also not lunch, for that matter.
2. Calling wine “PM Coffee” does not make it dinner. It’s also not funny.
3. If it comes out of a box and you can eat it with your fingers, it also doesn’t count as a meal.
3. If you’re going to eat pizza two to four times a week, at least make it at home and eat it with vegetables. (Beer does not count as a vegetable.)
4. You don’t get a free pass on eating actual meals just because you’re busy or the sink is full of dishes or you want to keep watching videos of puppies on your laptop. I know your natural inclination is to sniff around all the cabinets and the refrigerator to find some easy, quick thing you can eat while crouched on the kitchen floor like you’re in a romantic comedy about how a woman raised by wolves finds love, but you need to eat real meals made of real food. Besides, your husband thinks it’s creepy when he finds you using your hands to put leftover macaroni and cheese onto leftover pizza before stuffing the whole disaster into your stupid face at 10 AM.
5. That reminds me. Pizza is not a plate.
6. For the love of all that is holy, drink some water! You like it. You have it. Drink it.

Agreed?

Sincerely (even though you don’t deserve it),
Body

Dear Body,

Fine. Agreed. But only because I want to be Sarah Connor.

Sincerely (because we’re stuck together),
Jaime