Thursday, October 06, 2005

Like one of those described unbidden events (like when a fly buzzes into your eye), I received
an e-mail from my sister’s high school friend who desires my purchase of a nutritional supplement. After 20 years of not hearing from her, her first paragraph tells me that she started her cycle today, and it was great, and she no longer has irritable bowel syndrome due to this supplement. My immediate complaint to my sister gave me further description of what may be next if I gave her my phone number: a 3-way phone conversation with her, me and another consultant whose husband used to go every hour and now doesn't. Help, help, help.

Is this right?

Do I need to know the minutae about someone else’s husband's bowel movements?

Or, about her menstruation patterns on the day and hour? I can handle the talk of it, you know, in female magazines, informing me of something medical that my mother didn’t tell me about. Or, maybe when " the cycle " is referred to rhythmically, in syntactical singsong, in Heather McHugh poetical jargon, as a force of nature to be spun around by, up, like trampoline trapsing. Or, you know, perhaps, it’s talked about in connection with social injustice in Africa to women who no longer have the nutrient power to ovulate and menstruate. Or, perhaps in a re-reading of Anne Frank to make one appreciate the mystery, the friendship, the feminine favor, as also in The Red Tent, by Anita Diamante, which is a force to hold us women together, uniting us in our bonds, searing our existence into elemental meaning.

However, I do not need a phone conversation with this old sister’s friend after twenty years about her cycle which started today and was made great because of pills she wants me to purchase. It's just so ... unliterary!

Help, help, help. I need your sympathy and concern.


Cindy said...
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Cindy said...

Oh, but we could turn it into something literary!!

An Old Friend Calls to Chat About Her IBS

She prattles on of blood
and dietary supplements as if
two decades of cycling moons
had never gone, had never passed
like ill-digested fiber through
the bowels of time. Our seeds
dropped one by one, bright signs
of monthly possibility into our lives
without a word from her. For twenty years
we lived in relatively silent bliss.
We should be glad: her life
is regular--no more urgent calls
or lengthly absences.
Yet the very tempo of her speech,
her breathy pitch reveals
that something's still clenched tight
inside, knotted in her gut. Helpless,
we can only listen, hope
that soon she'll talk it through.


Fieldfleur said...

Wow! You've transformed the hideous into beauty so quickly. I'm glad that you immediately grasped the transcendent (as in "bowels of time") in this situation. So lovely now, this topic. So palpable, this concern. So redeemed, this issue.
You're awesome!

Cindy said...

Well, if ever there was something that needed redeeming, it would be that phone call. Your saying, "It's just so...unliterary!" was a challenge that couldn't be passed up. Glad you enjoyed. Have a lovely weekend!

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