OK readers! so, as promised, here' s my latest offering to my literary mistresses on high! It's a working title. I was thinking 'a womb of her own' but I'm not sure, don't you think it's quite sexist?
It's basically a pastiche of chick lit, a genre I totally subvert in this incredibly probing work.
So, this is the first chapter. Tune in soon for the next!
Sally, or an Independent Woman: A Fiction
Last night I dreamt I was back in Cork, before the famine killed all the little potatoes. I dreamt I was with Gim, my Irish boyfriend. Gim worked down the mines and in the night time we would pick potatoes together. But then the famine came.
It happened on a Sunday when I did start to bleed. But my Irish friends, who did not know what it was to be woman, thought me a witch and cast me out yonder.
But then the famine came. Thinking it be a curse to punish those who had wronged me so, the villagers came after me with pitchforks and sticks of fire. “Kill Shirley! Kill Shirley!” they yelled.
Oh, I was scared without Gim! But he was still down the mines! So with courage in my heart when they found me crouching in ditch, I stood up against the mob!
“Stop you fools!” cried I. “I am Shirley! Yes I bleed! I bleed as did Christ on his most holy of crosses. I give myself up to the mercy of the little baby Jesus, now, in the hour of my need. He shall hear me and all shall be well!”
But nay alas! With their pitchforks high in the air and fire consuming the sky the mob crept nearer and nearer towards me. The heat rose, my heart leapt, the blade hurtled towards my eye and then-
Sally woke up. It was a beautiful day in Notting Hill. The sun was shining and she could hear the gentle hum of city life outside her massive town house. She put out her hand to find that Dominic had already left for work. Dominic. He was in business.
Sally couldn’t stop thinking about her dream, nightmare, even. As a West London physiologist she was quite accustomed to over analysing and occasionally cutting herself. She pondered the meaning of Shirley.
“Irish? Well maybe its about music, or the colour green?” Sally concluded that yes, the dream must certainly symbolise the hope associated with the colour green; the colour of Ireland. Happily contemplating the good fortune her dream might bring the burning smell and hiss of the straightening irons let her know that she had finished doing her hair and after some more time putting on make up she was ready to start the day. Tuesday 23rd September 2007. It went something like this:
Someone else take Jenson to school
Shoe shopping (!)
Lunch with Fran
Dinner with Dominic…
Dominic! Could you believe it? Married for 13 years today. The arrival of little Jenson eight years ago made their family complete and now they had a Russian au pair, Александра, they were truly happy. Sally couldn’t resist creeping over to the wardrobe to have a peek at the GORGEOUS Amanda Wakley in her closet. Tonight was going to be so magical, Dominic said he had a surprise for her. What could it be?
But then Sally remembered Fran. Oh Fran, poor Fran. Fran, who had recently discovered that David had been shagging his secretary. To make matters worse the secretary was actually 18 years older than Fran. Not that it really made that much difference, “Fran is pretty ugly”, Sally thought to herself.
Poor Fran. Sally had done everything she could, she had even given her free physiology, but still the pain remained. Fran was a broken woman. It made Sally realise how lucky she was- Dominic would never cheat on her. No, Sally and Dominic would be the happiest, best, most amazing couple in the world, always! Sally was spinning round so much she fell over and wacked her head on the wardrobe. But just before that she thought: With a love that strong how could it not last forever?
autumn readings around the UK, magazines & 'transfeminine brokenness, radical transfeminism' - hi all, huge thanks to the folks who came to the I Write, I Rise reading, with Eli Clare (!) on Saturday at the Scottish Poetry Library. If you missed it, ...
6 days ago