Friday, July 1, 2016

Not a Pretty Girl.


I am not a pretty girl
that is not what I do

I ain't no damsel in distress

and I don't need to be rescued

so put me down punk
maybe you'd prefer a maiden fair
isn't there a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere


Can I write?  I've been crying for so many hours now.  
I woke up with swollen eyes.  
I don't need to be rescued, but I guess I sure look like I do.  I'm sure I look like a mess... Like a helpless heap of a girl.  

Not a pretty girl at all, though.  

I don't feel pretty inside.  I don't feel pretty in any way. Happy girls are pretty.  Audrey Hepburn said something like that.  

I am not an angry girl
but it seems like I've got everyone fooled
every time I say something they find hard to hear
they chalk it up to my anger
and never to their own fear
and imagine you're a girl
just trying to finally come clean
knowing full well they'd prefer you
were dirty and smiling


I can't come clean.  I'm all dirty.  I'm all dirty, but I'm crying.  I'm crying rivers through the dirt on my face, down my neck...  Dirt...  Memories...  Wet tracks along a dirty face.

and I am sorry
I am not a maiden fair
and I am not a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere

No one needed to save me, but maybe I wanted to be saved.  God, I wanted to feel safe... I wanted to know that if I was trying to swim to shore, someone might meet me halfway, if I were too tired.  
If I were too scared.  
If my limbs stopped working. 
Because all the other people were pulling on them, holding me in the water.  I wanted someone to pry the fingers off my skin, and pull me free.  Free.  


And I am a patriot
I have been fighting the good fight
and what if there are no damsels in distress
what if I knew that and I called your bluff?
don't you think every kitten figures out how to get down
whether or not you ever show up


Maybe you're just telling to wait on the branch, telling me that jumping down even a short distance would ruin everything.  Ruin everything!  
Wait there, to be helped down safely. Trust me, I will keep you safe...  
Except that's not right.  I have to protect myself and know how to fall...  I have to be brave, not just safe.  

I am not a pretty girl
I don't want to be a pretty girl
no I want to be more than a pretty girl



I remember coming to an understanding that I had to be a pretty girl...  That I was a pretty girl...  And to be defined so singularly--because that's what happens--made me so angry.  I was smart.  I am smart.  I am just really, really dumb sometimes.  Dumb to believe in anyone but myself.  

Dumb to not believe in myself at all...  


(Ani DiFranco)

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