If sheets could speak, would they spill the secrets between them?
The intimacy, secrecy of late night thoughts. Children’s forts and flashlights and first times. Contemplating grocery lists and global warming all in the same minute before going off to an inconsequential dreamworld—but don’t all dreams carry meaning in real life?
If I had a dollar for every time I jolted awake, ripped off the covers, or dashed to the bathroom only to find that yes, goddammit, I’d have to throw away this pair of underwear, too.
I’d have a dollar for every month since puberty.
At three hour intervals, once a month, every month I change a necessary invention that ironically puts me at risk.
Someone tell me why toxic shock syndrome isn’t the thing keeping me awake these sweaty early morning hours? Why is that not listed on my luxury-taxed box?
Alternatively, I find myself crouched over the toilet, one hand stained up to my third knuckle and the other clutching a silicon cup that promises, teases: “No more tampons. No more taxes.”
Am I an environmentalist yet?
And it’s not always my bed.
It’s a friend of a friend—a gracious host allowing me to stay in their million-dollar home.
It’s me sleeping atop a folded old towel so that I won’t stain the 800 thread count with my regularity.
It’s a nice new boyfriend who only has one bathroom for four boys and yes, goddammit, his roommate just turned on the shower and there’s nothing to do but wait, awkwardly holding a roll of paper towel between my legs. He places a robe on my shoulders to cloak the embarrassment and tries to joke: “Hey, I’m glad you have your period! What a relief.”
And even though it’s not funny yet I kiss him. The nice new boyfriend will also pretend not to notice the bloodstain on his white button-down strewn across the floor—so I say I’m sorry for the millionth time and take it home myself to be dry-cleaned.
How can I apologize for what I cannot control?
Sheets—sweaty and soiled—don’t speak. So I’ll spill their secrets.
Bleed the Bed
Don’t tell me
That you love gore.
Scary, brutal movies.
Don’t tell me.
If you don’t want to
Touch me on my period.
We’re all allowed to bleed.