I haven’t exercised in months, so I went out running at 11pm in Propsect Park. It was freezing and the wind was thrashing at my labia. Was there a hole in my tights at my labia? How could that have happened, I thought? I felt for a hole without at first noticing a cyclist pass. When he saw me groping my crotch so urgently, he seemed flummoxed and swerved, nearly falling. No hole [in the fabric], so I kept running. I punched my legs as I went, to kind of bully my blood into circulation. I felt victimized at this point by the cold and the exhaustion, and thanatos was shrieking in my ear “Stop, leave, YOU SUCK, DIE MOTHAFUCKA!!!”
I wondered if I wasn’t permanently damaging my labia or, conversely, whether this was going to benefit them in the long run, and if the latter, I could write about a new strategy for Teen Vogue and I’d finally impress everyone with my entrepeneurial spirit! Maybe I could patent the Cryogenic Labial Technique for rejeuvenation. In the press release, would I mention how cryogenic serves as a a double entendre since I was certainly in cry-level pain presently? Or would it be more prudent to hide this level of pain?
Halfway around the lake, the elastic around my waist decided to go on strike, and my tights starting sliding down. This was more of a blessing than a curse for it allowed me to reframe and worry about another matter, mainly humliating myself. It was one thing to sport gangrene labia and anticipate some doctor applying a labial tourniquet and then being labiumless moving forward, but quite another for my tights to fall off while I was running. I was holding my pants with one hand, and pumping and punching with the other. I was listening to the Can station on Pandora, and that must have improved things, but I worried that I’d associate this awful experience with Can and grow an aversion. I decided to look at this all as a first world issue of sorts. My mother is severely disabled and can’t walk across a room easily, let alone necrotize her labia while running miles in the frigid cold, for instance…this was an opportunity, gosh darn it. And you know what? I felt an inner peace grow…then worried that this peace was what death is.
Photograph by Joanne Leah.