Twenty-Eight Days in Bushwick
Here I sit, in a trendy café in Bushwick, Brooklyn. I moved here in 2001 in search of an affordable apartment. And there were many affordable apartments in this neighborhood, which had never quite recovered from the 1977 New York City-wide black out where thirty-five blocks were destroyed from looting and fires vandals left blazing behind them. Most of my friends were afraid to visit me at the beginning of the 21st Century.
And today? Hipsters cannot move here fast enough. I am bent in half, clutching a cup of coffee, in one of the six new trendy café’s that have opened in the past 16 months. I am waiting for the wave of lower back pain and cramps to pass. Ironically, I see a flyer on the wall next to me with an image of four white whippersnapper fellows wearing skin-tight jeans and faux badass looks on their faces in a band called “Monkey Blood.”
Really? Monkey Blood? What about Menstrual Blood? I'm going to start a band and call it MENSTRUAL BLOOD. And it's going to have all perimenopausel women in it, and we are going to smell each other's pheromones so that we all cycle together. And every 28 days we’ll do shots of Knob Creek and play at an underground bar with our pants off. And the only people who can be in the mosh pit are women who are having their periods. And all the men will have to stand on the periphery with damp towels and “feminine protection”, ready to worship and attend to us. And all the trans folks who were assigned an inapplicable gender at birth and identify as women can rub lipstick on their inner thighs symbolic of menstrual blood. AND THEY CAN BE IN THE MOSH PIT TOO!
But honestly, I'm not going to start a punk band called Menstrual Blood, because when I have my period, I'll be crumpled up on the floor, hugging a heating pad to my stomach. And honestly, I feel HYSTERICAL when I think of the days before Kotex, Aleve, plastic linings and wings. WHAT DID WOMEN DO? What if I were a wild animal? What if this were a trillion years ago and I was a wild humanzoid and I didn't have any practical outfits to wear--just me, in the world, butt naked? If I were having my period, like I'm having it now, if I was in the middle of a dessert, sharks would DRAG themselves from the ocean to me.
Is a heavy flow the price women pay as a result of evolution? You know, I want to “run with wolves” too, but it's hard to do while I'm having my period and holding down a full time secretarial job. I can only dream of being like certain women who smartly insert their tampons and swim the 200-meter breast stoke for a gold medal in the Olympics.
In the trendy café I spy some hipster mommies with their infants, most likely waiting for their knitting circle to gather. This is a positive reminder to me that my period is symbolic. Women can have babies--we are the vessels for LIFE!