On the South side of Tucson near the Samsonite factory you’ll see a woman who’s usually naked except for a long T-shirt. Her thighs are sunburnt, her skin is a white girl’s cautionary tale. Stick around and she’ll scream, “Give me something I can handle!” and shake a fist at the cloudless sky. When her cracked lips bleed she wipes the blood off on the back of her arm. You might think she’s out there alone, but she’s not. She stands with Todd Akin.
She’ll make a great mom some day!
I met her in Iowa. She wanted a baby.
She was married to a UPS guy, pink as a slab of ham, like a ham sandwich in a wheat-brown uniform. I’d see him out making deliveries. They couldn’t get pregnant—that sperm delivery didn’t hit its mark, I guess, right? She said they had hot sex twice a day, rocking the bed, the couch, the dining room table—a woman does what she has to. She used to like it. Now it was a job.
They put up an inspirational poster in the bathroom: …God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. –Corinthians 10:13
She could bear a baby!
God won’t give you anything you can’t handle. She picked up babies, handled babies until strangers in the mall said, “Give me back my baby now.”
One night her husband whispered, “Maybe God wants us to have hot sex, no kids. It’s His message.”
No, she thought. That was her UPS man letting his own little lazy swimmers off the hook.
She looked for God’s real message. After eight years of child-free fucking—up to three times a day now, sometimes four—one night she was home watching TV and there was Jan Brewer’s face, Governor of Arizona. Jan Brewer had just signed a bill legislating that all women are considered technically and legally pregnant pretty much all the time.
It was like a fertility festival that never ends! That land of pre-emptive global warming and water shortages sounded so welcoming. It was God calling, a better place to be.
She and her UPS guy moved South. He could work anywhere.
They were unpacking in a McMansion when God spoke again. This time his voice came through Todd Akin and the Internet.
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Legitimate rape? Nobody had taught her the gradations of rape.
She traced Akin’s logic in reverse. Was her body shutting things down? A chilling thought—what if she wasn’t having sex with her husband, but he was raping her? She had started to hate sex, the way it was so goal oriented. But rape?
The proof was in the outcome.
Her body had ways of shutting that whole thing down…
Then it was harder to give in when her husband pulled her close, spread her legs.
But God spoke again, now through the radio and Mike Huckabee. Huckabee’s voice said, “…even from those horrible, horrible tragedies of rape, which are inexcusable and indefensible, life has come…” He talked about Ethel Waters, an old-time crooner whose mom was thirteen when she was raped. That rape gave birth to a singer! Waters herself was raped at thirteen. Like mother, like daughter. So not only rape, but pedophilia was apparently fine! Life has a way of working out.
Paul Ryan’s voice stepped in, saying rape was just another method of conception.
All methods of conception were equal. Good to know! Why was she bothering with fidelity? It wouldn’t be adultery to sleep around. It’d be another method of conception.
Babies from rape were okay, but only illegitimate rape. That was the tricky part. This was the new sex ed.
So she started boozing. Heavily. Then she took off her pants. Her shirt was like a dress, short enough to find trouble. She drove to the South side. She had ideas about poor people being rapists, and there was less money down there.
Huckabee’s God voice said, “This could be a Mount Carmel moment…you bring your gods. We’ll bring ours. We’ll see whose God answers the prayers and brings fire from heaven…”
Gods? So was Huckabee a polytheist? Whatever. She’d bring her boobs, her thighs, to find one teeny tiny gift from God in a cock package. Bring that God sperm on.
For good measure she bought pot from a Mexican teenager and smoked a bowl in the car. If she were high, even if she chickened out and shouted no!, it would still make the rape not rape-rape. It would be her fault. Totally. God would punish her with a baby. Perfect! She wanted that punishment like a swift, hard spanking.
She recited her prayer, “He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”
So that’s where you’ll find her, working her day job as a pre-pregnant lady, half dressed in that T-shirt, wasted, loaded, waving her ass. Her shirt reads, “Go Mitt!” She’ll say she’s not political. She’s definitely not a feminist. Jeez! That’s like being a lesbian, almost.
But her shirt is sun-faded and cracked, and where it once said “Go Mitt!” now it reads more like “VoMit!”
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