Difficult WomenBook - 2017
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Many nights, after his mother fell asleep alone, her eyes wet, Joshua would steal over to her house. We sat on the sloping roof and stared at the moon, which, in the absence of the sun, swelled into a fragile beauty from which it was difficult to look away. We often saw people in the houses on either side of us doing the same thing, sitting on their roofs, their faces beaming upward. It was so very nice to see moonlight, and how we could see beneath its glow the memories of who we used to be. Somehow, staring at the moon made the days less dark, less cold.
She tries to walk not too fast and not too slow. She doesn’t want to attract any attention. She pretends she doesn’t hear the whistles and catcalls and lewd comments.
Sometimes she forgets and leaves her house in a skirt or a tank top because it’s a warm day and she wants to feel warm air on her bare skin.
Before long, she remembers. She keeps her keys in her hand, three of them held between her fingers, like a dull claw. She
makes eye contact only when necessary and if a man should catch her eye, she juts her chin forward, makes sure the line of her jaw is strong. When she leaves work or the barlate, she calls a car service and when the car pulls up to her building, she quickly scans the street to make sure it’s safe to walk the short distance from the curb to the door.
She once told a boyfriend about these considerations and he said, 'You are completely out of your mind.' She told a new friend at work and she said, 'Honey, you’re not crazy. You’re a woman.'
She was smart enough to want more, but tired enough to accept the way things were.
I have moved to the edge of the world for two years. If I am not careful, I will fall.
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