Pick her up and pretend you’re going to throw her in the pool. She’ll scream and fight you, but secretly, she’ll love it. Hold her hand while you talk. Hold her hand when you drive. Just hold her hand. Tell her she looks pretty. Look her in the eyes when you talk to her. Protect her. Tell her stupid jokes. Tickle her, even when she says stop. When she starts swearing at you, tell her you love her. Let her fall asleep in your arms. Get her mad, then kiss her. Tease her and let her tease you back. Kiss her on the cheek. Kiss her on the forehead. Just kiss her. Let her wear your clothes. Go slow. Don’t push anything. When you fall in love with her, tell her.
- Me half the time: I just want to cuddle up with you and watch cute movies and look into your eyes and tell you I love you and kiss you lots and then fall asleep in your arms.
- Me half of the time: I just want to rip off your clothes and get pushed against the wall with my arms pinned up and make out and push you onto your bed and we can fuck the shit out of each other, ok
When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boys call asking your cup size, say A, hang up. When he says you give him blue balls, say you’re welcome. When a girl with thick black curls who smells like bubble gum stops you in a stairwell to ask if you’re a boy, explain that you keep your hair short so she won’t have anything to grab when you head-butt her. Then head-butt her. When a guidance counselor teases you for handed-down jeans, do not turn red. When you have sex for the second time and there is no condom, do not convince yourself that screwing between layers of underwear will soak up the semen. When your geometry teacher posts a banner reading: “Learn math or go home and learn how to be a Momma,” do not take your first feminist stand by leaving the classroom. When the boy you have a crush on is sent to detention, go home. When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boy with the blue mohawk swallows your heart and opens his wrists, hide the knives, bleach the bathtub, pour out the vodka. Every time. When the skinhead girls jump you in the bathroom stall, swing, curse, kick, do not turn red. When a boy you think you love delivers the first black eye, use a screw driver, a beer bottle, your two good hands. When your father locks the door, break the window. When a college professor writes you poetry and whispers about your tight little ass, do not take it as a compliment, do not wait, call the Dean, call his wife. When a boy with good manners and a thirst for Budweiser proposes, say no. When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boys tell you how good you smell, do not doubt them, do not turn red. When your brother tells you he is gay, pretend you already know. When the girl on the subway curses you because your tee shirt reads: “I fucked your boyfriend,” assure her that it is not true. When your dog pees the rug, kiss her, apologize for being late. When he refuses to stay the night because you lived in Jersey City, do not move. When he refuses to stay the night because you live in Harlem, do not move. When he refuses to stay the night because your air conditioner is broken, leave him. When he refuses to keep a toothbrush at your apartment, leave him. When you find the toothbrush you keep at his apartment hidden in the closet, leave him. Do not regret this. Do not turn red. When your mother hits you, do not strike back.