We're launching Secrets, our 22nd issue, on October 21, 2016. Leading up to the launch, we're publishing a series of poetry & prose pieces that feature unconventional lives and secret histories.
Theory of Her
by C.B. Lang
Would you like to put it in yourself? The young nurse, begloved in blue latex and holding a dildo-shaped probe covered by a baggy condom, asks.
I wonder what the typical response to this question is.
Unfailing cheer in the face of so many nervously spread-apart legs must be a job requirement of the fertility nurse.
I consider whether it would even be a possibility—for me to put it in myself, that is—laying here at a 45 degree angle, feet in stirrups, rectangular sheet, barely big enough to cover a card table, draped inadequately around my pubic area (Put your bare bum on the table, the nurse advises. Ahh, they are aware of the inadequacies of this thing called sheet. If my bum is bare, cheeks pressed into the crinkly paper covering the table, and my legs are open wide like a mouth at the dentist, then what, pray tell, is the purpose of this sheet?). Perhaps if I had paid more attention in university when everyone else was learning how to properly tie a toga, then I would be better prepared for moments like these.
I try to imagine how I would insert this probe and come up with nothing.
I am not the girl who sticks cucumbers up her twat to see what it feels like.
I am not the girl at the party who can shoot Ping-Pong balls out of her cooch.
Sometimes I think I might like to be her. I am equally afraid of and intrigued by the party she is at: it’s late and nothing good happens after 2 a.m., except all the things that feel so good at the time. And the next morning I would wake up as myself again and wish I was still her. That girl would have no trouble putting it in herself, but like I said, I am not that girl. And if I’m not that girl and I’m at that party then which girl can I be? Maybe I’m the one standing by the table in the corner, where the bottles with an inch of liquid left have been abandoned, eating pretzel sticks and trying to catch a glimpse over the heads of the crowd (trying not to look like I’m trying to look).
I imagine two Ping-Pong balls pushed into the slack of a used condom. It looks not unlike a ball sack. Except it also looks nothing like a ball sack. It looks like the theory of a ball sack. And I am the girl who is a theory of herself.
Does the girl on the table at the party carry Ping-Pong balls with her wherever she goes? Is she being paid for this impressive display? Will she pass a hat around after the show? If you catch the ball from the stands, do you get to keep it? If you waited in line outside her locker room after the game would she autograph it?
No, I say, I don’t think I can.
C.B. Lang is a writer and editor living in Vancouver, BC. She is an MFA student at Goddard College where her thesis is a first novel. She also writes short stories, poetry, and personal essays. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @carabwrites
Ciele Beau is a visual artist and graphic designer based out of Vancouver, BC. She graduated from the University of Victoria with a BFA, Visual Arts Major, and is currently completing a 2D Design Certificate at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Ciele loves working with colour, form, and themes around human experience and connection. Social Everywhere @cielebeau.