You are Watching
Issue #62, December 2002
I am walking down Bloor St. in the early July evening; it is warm and I'm listening to crusty punk rock from London: X-ray Spex, Crass, and other bands whose aggressive names, along with the mix-tape cover, are lost to history. The singers are all female; they are belting out lyrics to experience the revolution in; arresting songs about why "my life sucks," "why your life is a nightmare;" about girls on the run, girls in fights, and girls on girls.
I'm imagining that your eyes are on me; that you're walking 20 ft. behind me and noting the way I move, the way I look, the way I smoke, the way you think I must be like (from what you can know at sundown shadow distance, with brief memories). I'm heading to a date with some old friends & you wonder what my history looks like, and what I am when not around you.
I'm dressed for an occasion: short black skirt, which shows most of my thighs and can be slid to my waist (by the right hands) in a matter of seconds; my poleclimber boots, which are good to run & model in; a tank top that clings in all the proper spots, and is slightly too long so as to make my torso appear longer & my skirt even shorter; freshly-cut sex-kitten bangs — the kind that are, to my disappointment & shame, so hip right now — contrasting choker & bracelet, bought for $1 each — 'in America,' the retail wasteland that much of it is; bright orange Samsonite shoulder bag to hold my necessary thinker/female accessories, which doubles as a great spotting tool if I get lost in a crowd; a demure blue cropped sweater, so I don't give the smarmy guys on the street too much to stare at, and so I can work up a healthy body temperature. Everything is put on to look sexy to your eyes, to show you that I am one fiiiiiine girl, who you are lucky to be following leisurely down one of the busiest streets in North America.
Maybe we are lucky women. Maybe we're blessed & have a gift for feeling. As we walk, parallel, shielded, I can feel your hands moving over my body, smoothing me out, demanding & assuring. My cuntlips slide against each other as I walk; the heat of my body, this heat I want to last forever, congregates around my back, my neck, and my clit. I am expecting you to expatriate me — to make me foreign to my former sovereign identity.
It is now the time in my day when I wish someone were filming me: I turn up the walkman so my ancient tape is deafeningly white noise, so I can hear the singer, and as I raise my hand to my lips to draw away my smoke, I see two Guido suits approaching in the throng. The shorter, balder one appraises me & approvingly waves his stubby arm in my direction. With my already raised hand, I flip a fat bird to the startled pudgy eyes of my suitor, grasp my smoke, and slide off into the humanity.
Forget the permanence of film if for a few moments you watch me to put together the puzzle of another, to see life in action, & to consider that sweet place between my thighs & what just a little calculated motion might do to me. Maybe a more than a little, actually: what you would do to me, and with me.
I am exhilarated & quick, I am suave & mobile, I have no guilt and I have abandoned my fear. And I've got some feeling that I can't stop from washing over me: you are watching.
Hadassah Hill lives in Toronto, Canada.