Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Re: The Agony of Wishing Someone Would Disappear

Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Re: The Agony of Wishing Someone Would Disappear

Article excerpt

January 21, 2017: The Women's March

My son's father once threatened me with a flaming iron skillet I had used to cook a gorgeous puttanesca all that long, hot day-it simmered in the pan even as he lifted it from the flames. It wobbled, tipped, the olives and the onions dipped and swirled, the colors were a riot of forms, coming at me, as he was coming at me, shaking its volcanic contents as I hovered in the corner of that tiny Texas kitchen, barefoot, so that even if I could have run, I couldn't have gone far. I could regale you with a million tales like this one, but the point is this-that day, like many other days, he wanted to kill me. He said as much. Which is a strange thing to hear, so strange, in fact, that more than once I pretended I didn't hear it, I pretended he couldn't have said it, I pretended it couldn't be true. Imagine the power-I couldn't imagine. The power to want someone offof the earth-imagine the earth as that skillet, and I am a tiny joke of a woman, an olive slipping toward the edge, and tumbling onto the floor, offof the earth, into the earth from whence I came. Sometimes, after I left, I tried to wish death for him-but I couldn't get the words out. I couldn't even get them to play in my head: I wish he was-so I changed it up-"I wish he would fall offthe face of the earth. …

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