critical spirits never lie

to be so obsessed with beauty, none of them are particularly attractive. every single one of them is wrinkled and some aren’t trying to hide it beneath pounds of makeup, they’ve quite simply thrown in the towel.

they age differently than black women. their eyes and lips turn down at the corners like the people in “house of wax.” five of them have bob hairstyles, streaks of grey running through brown and red tresses almost like an intentional dye job.

pasted on smiles as they answer questions, always in the affirmative, hands shooting up or voices calling out, stepping over each other vying for attention, “pick me”, “look at me” , “call on me.” another recurring theme.

i find myself losing interest in the discussion. and trying to break into the chatter is like trying to merge onto 75 during rush hour.  listening to these women participate and try to sound academic is tiring.

and why is the instructor wearing a skeleton ring on her forefinger large enough to cover the space between her palm and first knuckle? is this a representation of belief like wearing a cross or one of those irish rings. what are they called? chaguddah? you know the ones with the cupped hands. never mind, not important. (i later looked it up, it’s called a “claddagh” i had some of the letters).

and finally, why do people feel that they must be tolerant of everything that is truly intolerable? advising a writer to “leave out the religious part, Christianity, regarding fertility choices because religion is implied.” but in other pieces, “i think you should explore the sexual relationship between the older man and the 16 year old boy. you need to create that tension and it seems that the older man is getting out of it too easily.” WTH?

i asked one of my classmates if she suspends her beliefs when she writes. she said yes, and then after further discussion she agreed that it is difficult. you have well said. if the instructor is indeed lesbian she is not suspending her beliefs, sexual identity or attitudes when she writes (as was evidenced in her latest work and the passages she read) or comments on what others have written.

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