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The day I became a woman
The day I became a woman, I was a cat at the time. I wore long, beautiful moustache and such a fur from ears to tail! My prints on the snow would look like edelweiss: there would be people in love with me and terrified mice – about whom I’ve heard talking – but never seen one – so much they were terrified. My claws scratched even diamonds – oh – on my eyes star dust! A regiment of mixed animals – who could stand on their two posterior legs – came to me that dull day with the aim of teaching me what I should have already learned by now – they said – although it seemed to them that I hadn’t yet. And – as far as I understood – that was a problem. It was time – they said – I learned to walk erect showing up my boobs and some dignity at once. Exactly – they said – like it befits any woman – since I was one. The latter point stirred so much my curiosity that I immediately asked what was this thing they said: woman. No one expected my question. They started pointing each other and myself out, repeating “woman, woman, it’s a woman, woman…” but, apart from this extensive demonstration, they seemed poor in contents. I’m not pretending being a philosopher, and there was no attempt on my side to discover the essence of woman: I just wanted an idea of what was this woman I was. It seemed a reasonable question on my part, wasn’t it? They also felt compelled to show their erudition in this quite banal (but important!) theme and in all honesty I can say that they did the best they could. That is, they sat with me and got ready for a serious, loving conversation. My point was quite simple and clear: if I were a woman (as they said) why did they tell me that I was not like one? Cats might not be so subtle as these two-legs animals, but not so fool not to see that a fish cannot not be a fish. As easy as that. So, if I were a woman I couldn’t not be a woman at the same time, quite clear, isn’t it? But you see – that’s what happens with this bunch of two-legs animals every time. You talk and talk abstractly about being or not being and the possibilities of being and you never get to the thing. What was I or was I not or should or needed not… But who cares! What was this thing woman?! This I wanted to know. A member of the group kindly proposed: “Why don’t we go to eat something all together and continue this conversation in a more relaxed atmosphere?” Fine. That was fine with me. It was fine also with everybody else. Actually I was getting hungry and already quite tired of so much nonsense. At least I could eat something now. I climbed on the chair and licked my moustache. In front of me lay a giant tuna-salad whose smell filled the entire room! “Here you go, it’s for you!” “Thanks” I replied and now they could talk about whatever pleased them – I was fine, so fine! “Slurp slurp!” “Darling,” one two-legs said “you see – you are not supposed to eat like that.” I almost choked. I wanted to rebuke that they had invited me out. But it wouldn’t have been polite, since they had invited me, and so I apologized spitting out the tuna in my mouth. “I thought it was for me. I’m really sorry.” “Certainly my dear! Of course it’s for you! Eat, eat darling!” I looked up with some perplexity. The two-legs continued: “I only meant to tell you that that’s not the way a woman eats. But eat, darling, eat!” Of course I wanted to eat, such psycho! But how was I supposed to eat now? I looked at the plate and swallowed my saliva. “A woman wouldn’t eat with his face on the plate. He would use forks or sticks – that depends on the region, the provenience, the house or restaurant where he’s eating and also on what he is eating” – he explained in detail and then, out of his kindness, added: “Well, it also depends on what you have at your disposal – that makes everything easier! – if you see a fork, you use the fork, if you see sticks, then you use sticks” and smiled with complicity as if, telling that, he were cheating. I don’t know. That looked complicated, with or without cheating. I looked around me and this bunch of two-legs were actually all eating under some form of constriction and pain. They used their arms as if they couldn’t stretch, their chewing was so silent that it seemed that not them but cows on a meadow afar were eating grass. On top of all – I noticed only now – they would look down and – somehow – smile up. There was something contorted about all that. And almost my appetite went away. There was simply too much to think about. I valued that it was a topic moment for a compromise, so I said: “Yes, I understand something more now, I also see that there’s much to learn and I’ll work on that. I’m hungry now” and I jumped with face and paws on the appetizing pieces of tuna. The two-legs were clearly disappointed but could see that learning takes time and appreciate at least a good will. It didn’t take longer than three minutes for the tuna-bites to disappear. Meanwhile some two-legs were arguing that it’s not so difficult really, it’s natural.” Many liked the last observation which would make all easier – and that cat (a woman, they meant) all the more stupid. Of course no one would have said that aloud – not even among themselves – but it was pretty clear that they were facing the typical “problem guy” situation (a woman, they meant). And then, how to teach what’s natural? Obviously the only way is giving the good example and that poor cat (a woman, they meant) must have had a difficult childhood – certainly was rejected, maybe even abandoned in a bin. All these unexpressed thoughts brought some heaviness on the lunch-sharing. No one was talking anymore, only salad chewing (from far away cows on a meadow far away) was still to be heard and I was getting bored, tired and also a bit lunatic. “My dear” – one of the two-legs interrupted the silence: “would you like to live in a warm house with a pretty room only for yourself where there are many games and lot of love?” I looked up suspiciously: “Do you mean there are other cats?” I asked. “Well, darling, not now – but with the time I might get you a cat.” – “Are there mice?” The two legs didn’t like the question, since he had hoped to express all his generosity in front of the company and show how many “yes” he could say all in a row – and yet he had to say another no. Irritated by this and irritated by the question he burst up: “No, of course not! There are not and there will never be mice in my apartment!” At least on this point he got the appreciation of the other two-legs; of course no mice in an apartment! The case was a difficult one in any respect. “I don’t want to live with you” finally I commented since it didn’t sound interesting whatsoever, quite the opposite and I had also realized now that I would have to live with one of those two-legs that were repeating to be each a woman and that I also was one. No, it didn’t look fun. Not at all. It was time to leave. I jumped down from the chair and stretched my paws. “But! Darling… you didn’t eat your salad, the tomatoes, all those delicious olives…!” I turned then and asked: “Are there women who like tuna?” “Oh yes, certainly there are” they replied. “Well, I’m one of them” I answered, since, I thought, there wouldn’t be anything else they could understand. Then I left mumbling by myself: “Whatever woman is, I hope never to meet one.”
BelvinO (aka E.S.-N.)
The day I became a woman is also the title for a marvelous film! (relation?)
Editor, Belvi-nA (aka M.S.-N., with hope..)