Download Her Body and Other Parties PDF by Carmen Maria Machado published on October 3, 2017.
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Inside this book
(If you read this story out loud, please use the following voices: ME: as a child, high-pitched, forgettable; as a woman, the same. THE BOY WHO WILL GROW INTO A MAN, AND BE MY SPOUSE: robust with serendipity. MY FATHER: kind, booming; like your father, or the man you wish was your father. MY SON: as a small child, gentle, sounding with the faintest of lisps; as a man, like my husband. ALL OTHER WOMEN: interchangeable with my own.)
The boy is not facing me. I see the muscles of his neck and upper back, how he fairly strains out of his button-down shirts, like a day laborer dressed up for a dance, and I run slick. And it isn’t that I don’t have choices. I am beautiful. I have a pretty mouth. I have breasts that heave out of my dresses in a way that seems innocent and perverse at the same time. I am a good girl, from a good family. But he is a little craggy, in that way men sometimes are, and I want. He seems like he could want the same thing.
I once heard a story about a girl who requested something so vile from her paramour that he told her family and they had her hauled her off to a sanatorium. I don’t know what deviant pleasure she asked for, though I desperately wish I did. What magical thing could you want so badly they take you away from the known world for wanting it? The boy notices me. He seems sweet, flustered. He says hello. He asks my name.
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