by j/j hastain

It began when she was a child. The first time a child got a paper cut: a little bit of red leakage, then a lot of reaction from the adjacent adult. When you are a child any adjacent adult is an adjoining adult, a demanding point refusing to be sparse to your experiences. You just can’t seem to get your own space from which to investigate and make your own decisions about your body, about where your body is contiguous to and impacting or garnering the world.

As a teenager she began to make a spectacle of herself: would leave the blood from the cuts accidentally made while shaving her legs, running down them like paint or extra-bright stretch marks. She let the red pool at her feet, between her toes, stain her skin and remain there throughout the day until it crusted. Even when it was cold outside she wore short shorts to show it.

She liked her step-mother nearly choking on her granola as she strolled past her and closed the door before faux-mother could comment. When people’s glances turned into inquisitive stares at her, she felt she had succeeded at something very important to her. They were trying to solve her in a truncated timeframe: that mereness wherein they were walking by her along the street. Time in passing is never enough time to truly figure someone else out. Anyway, she didn’t want to be figured out. She wanted shock.

When she finally moved out of her step-parents’ house, in addition to collecting her menstrual clots in rags and wiping the clots into her hair and along the lengths of her whole body during menstruation, she would always keep white sheets on her bed. A performance amplifies a stage. She kept her bed blushing with the red of her own body and the white of the cum of the bodies of her lovers. She needed to see the extent of the pulp in order for her to rest in it. For her, it was how it was stained that made it her bed.

Pupils seize in their sockets as they engorge on innards’ pigment. This is how the insides move outside of the body: this is how and why. Blood constantly makes its way in an effort at contextualizing flesh, exteriors. Status quo does not have her fooled. Blood is not just some internal thing, meant to be left there or humiliated as something terrible when it is expressed, when it expresses itself. Have you ever thought of your cut as in need of expressing something to you? She thinks about this all the time.

Whenever she was feeling lonely she looked to her blood to remind her that it was literally impossible for her to ever be abandoned or alone. Her blood was right there with her. That was a fact.

About the Author:

j/j hastain is a collaborator, writer and maker of things. j/j performs ceremonial gore. Chasing and courting the animate and potentially enlivening decay that exists between seer and singer, j/j, simply, hopes to make the god/dess of stone moan and nod deeply through the waxing and waning seasons of the moon.