Looking at the Pyranees from the Mediterranean Coast in Cataluna [Flash Fiction]

[Abortion in literature; Hemmingway etc.]



[When did wire hangers become the symbol of pro choice . . .]

[curtain rods; wire hangers; other foreign objects used in self induced miscarriage]


I did not understand how they could do so. I could not understand how they could do so, I had no cunt, But I did have an asshole, and I knew that I would never shove a curtain rod up my ass.

But how has understanding come to be equal with knowing?

I have used wire hangers unraveled at the hook to clear clogged drains; I could not imagine being able to imagine shoving that up my ass. To imagine shoving it up my ass would be another act.

Has any man ever shoved a curtain rod up his ass to relieve constipation? I have less invasive and less physically painful ways to relieve constipation, not that I suffer much from that.

Yes, a question, Who shoves a curtain rod up the cunt? Iimaine there were many girls who did, seemingly less vicious than a clothes hanger––plastic hangers taking off I have said elsewhere since Roe versus Wade.

A question asked, I remember hearing, I forget where, cannot see now––what was it about how I heard a woman’s voice then, my incredulity clearly now understood. Almost everything is hazy in recollection; I do recall this, but vaguely. What is it I remember about this, what do I remember ever?

Recollection is something willful and more certain in its search. I recall myself having said something like this question, I mean, Who does shove a rod up her cunt? Would fist up the cunt help induce miscarriage? I’m sure there are plenty of women who could accommodate a fist if desired––I mean, a woman can give birth, how could she not accommodate a fist should she want to accommodate a fist?

I also forget where or when I did, say what I said after having heard that girls used to shove curtain rods up their cunts to induce miscarriage. How the fuck could a girl . . .? It is not a question of how could she––they did; she did, this woman, girl, self-inducing miscarriage. Yes, not abortion, but it is abortion as much as pushing the red button in the command capsule if the mission should need to  be aborted . . .

A wire hanger? I haven’t forgotten that women used to–didn’t we wear badges with pink wire hangers on them to show support for Pro-Choice? I do not recall; I cannot recollect. I remember something about this vaguely–when I cannot discern.

Do you believe that they did that?

I do understand Nietzsche’s observation, if not his thesis, in The Geneology of Morals, but I am confused by a society of Judaeo-Christian moralizers who are against abortion and use pregnancy as a form of punishment, perhaps because they can no longer get away with stoning the girl who gets pregnant mostly from a lack of foresight or caution as she engages in the most natural of all our inclinations.

How desperate would a girl have to be to shove a curtain rod or a wire hanger up the cunt, why don’t I say vagina, I imagine someone might ask–and I still do not understand the kind of morality that functions on the level of punishment as a means of instruction.

I wanted to be more understanding than I was capable of being, not that I was incapable entirely––but I had been trained to think that I could not understand––a mistake in itself––because I was a man. But in just those ways I could not understand, another woman also could not understand because a woman is more like the singular, simple separate woman facing this dilemma than any man is––everyone is an island in this and in just about everyt5hibng else. It’s in the attempts to understand where it cannot be fully reached, completed; where standing under can be attained, it goes a long way to fostering care, compassion, humane treatment.

Unlike the issue of gay marriage, though, life is jeopardized if we do not maintain the law that insures safe and antiseptic procedures are part of a woman’s choice.

But this is reactionary America, so we must punish women who have sex and do not wish to submit to marriage as the sole means to manage their potential bastards . . . I do know that too many of those I find myself incidentally sitting across from at tables at night in places I would not ordinarily be in, or with whom I find myself, do not follow me, and not because they are stupid, just semi-literate and undereducated and handicapped by a far too short attention span.

Most of the abortion debate pivots on this ethical and retributive hinge: do we want to punish women for having sex or do we not want to punish them for expressing themselves sexually. What are we saying when we want to deny women access to safe, antiseptic medical procedures when they want to choose an indeiced miscarriage instead of going forward with the pregnancy? Of course we do, want to punish women for wanting to fuck.

We chastise them for being reticent and we chastise them for acting on the natural inclination to fuck, and to want to fuck is natural, is normal, is in itself love.

Most of the anti-abortion position hinges on coercing women’s chastity. It seems ridiculous–I almost imagine fathers, or mothers, even, locking up their teenaged daughters in iron belts around their pelvises–and it does not seem a stretch when one listens carefully to the vehemence and sees the violence of the people today who voice their opinions against women who seek to exercise their rights when seeking to have an abortion.There is a thick vein of punitive retribution present in the anti-abortion camp. I cannot understand this mode of punishment finding support among civilized people. I can’t side with the Republican idiots anymore than I can with the Democrat imbeciles.

We by no means have forgotten that there is a strong current of opinion in America that wants to send women back to ignorance and darkness and fear, send them backwards in time, backwards in morality, backwards in social justice. Make no mistake that there an inordinate number of our Muslim brothers and sisters who would jump at the opportunity to aid in this.The rhetoric of anti-abortion in America is paradigmatically similar to that of Jim Crow rhetoric levied against the civil and human rights of black Americans during the years of segregation, poll taxes and miscegenation laws. We are not forgetting the years of lynching anymore than we are forgetting that abortion clinics have been bombed.




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