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ODALISQUE

Fat Ass and Fiery River: A Pictorial Fairy Tale

WARNING: This entry contains cussing. Lots of it. Really. Stop reading if it bothers you.

Once upon a time, there lived a woman of Westerly.

BlogWoman of Westerly

And lo, she had worked hard that Saturday at a certain Magical Aquarium where she earned her daily bread.

To the greater part of 5800 people she had been friendly and informative, had pointed children in the direction of penguins and old men and women in the direction of the bathrooms. She had handed out durable and attractive aluminum water bottles and counted out thousands upon thousands of thousands of chaperone stickers.

Not only did she do this, but she did this wearing a khaki and blue uniform, which she had been wearing 5 out of 7 (and recently, 9 out of 7) days of her work week, pretty much since June.

I'm not saying this woman was particularly virtuous or wise or good. Fact is she was a little sleepy, a little hungry, a little sweaty. And when she went home that night, she was planning on probably re-watching the rest of Season 1 of True Blood like the creature of her time she is.

However, just after her work day was done, she had been told that a Most Wondrous Thing was happening in her small home town of Westerly! Yes, this pretty town that begins halfway across the Pawcatuck River Bridge and sports its own Victorian Strolling Park was going to host a River Glow. A River Glow happens when all along the Pawcatuck River floating bonfires are lit, and the sidewalks are lined with luminarias.

BlogFire River 3

You can bet your butt (more on butts later) that this woman was in no way shape or form planning to stay indoors after she heard this!

She went home. She bathed in spearmint-scented water. She put on clothes the color of burgundy wine, and jewels and ribbons and bells on her ankles. She paid special attention to her hair (recently transformed an unusual shade of "honey butter," curtesy of Nutrisse) and gilded her eyelids with golden sparkles. She headed out the door with a sort of dreamy, springy, slaphappy hopefulness, giddy to be on an adventure AND OUT OF UNIFORM, feeling strong in her solitude, looking forward to making some friendly eye contact with the citizens of her (still relatively new to her, as she'd only moved here within the last year) town.

But such drama befell!

A small thing really, folks, just a brief tiny thing, but oh, it put the sting into her. It put the sting into her and it sucked out all her joy in a single swell foop, as the saying doesn't go.

So, right at the light between her tall house and the Victorian Strolling Park, as she's waiting in the fading glow of the day for the Walking Dude signal, a car pulls up to the red light.

And a friendly, bright, cheerful, male voice observes, ever so politely:

"That is a very fat ass, miss."

The face belonging to the fat ass in question has time to raise her eyebrows in an expression that might have been withering scorn should it have been given a chance to develop, but maybe she looks away before it does, or maybe the light changed, and then the car drives on, to wherever cars carrying card-carrying assholes drive.

The woman, whose pleasure in the evening has faded to a sick feeling in her stomach and an angry burn of tears that have not really gotten much past her throat (and most certainly not all the way to her eyes, damn it), moved out of present tense and walked into the park and called her best friend, leaving a bitter, possibly pathetic, and certainly brittle message on her machine.

And then, because she couldn't quite face walking into the crowds in her mood, she sat outside her library and took pictures of her sad self in the dim hope that if she got a few good ones, she might not feel so ugly and forlorn.

BlogPark Pose

Yes, and she took pictures of her pretty feet too. Fat feet? Well, pretty anyway.

BlogPark Feet

And yes, also of her fat ass, because she was almost certain that it looked damned good in the skirt she was wearing, but who the hell can tell these days after three months of khaki?

BlogPark Fat Ass 1

And then, when the picture taking was quite ridiculous enough for her to have cheered herself up a smidge, she walked to the river.

And she saw many beautiful things.

Horses.

BlogHorse 1

BlogHorse 2

And unlit logs, floating in the twilight.

BlogUnlit River 2

BlogUnlit River 1

BlogUnlit River 3

And beautiful belly dancers.

BlogBelly 2

BlogBelly 1

(Once upon a time, this woman, too, had belly danced. And flamenco danced. And African danced.

Don't fool yourself -- she certainly doesn't -- the woman was never good at any of them, dear readers, never even a little bit good, but she did love dancing anyway, and especially loved it when she was dancing alone or with friends in her own home, to music that sank into her bones, music that made her feel beautiful, and better than she was, and never made her feel both simultaneously small and too fucking large at the same time, that never made her feel, newcomer as she is in her new town, a fucking tourist in her own fucking body.

And anyway, maybe it's time to take up bellydancing again. As a woman observed tonight to her male companion, either of her little daughter in the grass or of one of the performers: "Did you ever notice how she never looks as happy as when she's belly dancing?")

After watching the boatmen set the river on fire...

BlogBoat Light 3

BlogBoat Light 2

BlogBoat Light 1

BlogAfter Boat 2

BlogAfter Boat 1

BlogFire River 2

BlogFire River 1

...The woman took herself out to eat sushi.

Possibly she felt so shaken and angry and sad because she was hungry. Women with fat asses have huge appetites, don't you know? So she ate sushi and read a book that comforted her, and the night turned dark and gorgeous, with a wind.

BlogTwilight

And she came home and took these photos of herself, perhaps to prove something.

Claire Angry Eyes

Or Maybe Plum Shaped

Everything's pear shaped

What the hell

Salute the Sun

THE END.

Comments

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I believe he meant, "You have a phat ass, miss","phat" meaning "pretty hot and tempting" - which your ass most certainly is.
Which is still fairly rude behavior. But a testament to how fabulous your caboose is.
Wanna skpe/phone date tomorrow?
Gracious, you're right! MY MISTAKE!!! This whole entry was a MISINTERPRETATION! I should write him a poem in thanks and flirtation...
You're gorgeous. I hope you know this :)

Idiots, however, are idiots. I am sorry you encountered one of them.
You are lovely and kind to me. And today I knew I was gorgeous, which is why I had to do a little photo-documentary to prove it. And, gah, to believe it again, after my belief in myself (in burgundy mind, not in khaki; I don't believe in myself when I wear khaki -- I can only believe in that which it represents, namely, belugas...) was PROFOUNDLY PUT UPON.
grrr patriarchy and presumption and assholes. you are stunning and so are these photos.
Thank you very kindly.
Honey, you are glorious.

When Ellen and I were at Lowell, we heard a woman singing traditional Greek music, to which a young woman who disappeared when she turned sideways elected to dance sinuously but untrainedly in the rain. After watching her for a while, a Woman of a Certain Age and Size began to dance, quietly, without fuss, certainly without tossing her hair or hitching up the bespangled scarf inadequately tied around her inconsiderable haunches, because she was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, thank you very much. And the young woman stopped and smiled and went over and begged her to show her some moves, because all she had was sinuousness, and what the Woman of a Certain Age and Size had was skill and presence and remarkable muscle control. And the guy sitting two rows ahead of me, who was laughing? His girlfriend gave him a big elbow in the ribs and the Glare of the Century and a furious whisper that shut him up pronto, you betcha.

Your pictures are wonderful, as always. I love fire on water. It's so magical.
I love when people sing and dance in the rain. Dudes should stop laughing at those of us who do it and do it themselves more often, eh?

I like the girlfriend. Girl needs sharp elbows with a fellow like that.

Beautiful to hear that music, though, I bet. Beautiful to see them dance, trained and untrained.

Thank you.
You have given me a goal, Sister Discord, a grand goal, and I would like to share it with you.

I am going to become the Great Patriarch. I may have to murder in order to achieve this, but I will become the One From Whom All Patriarchy Powers Come. And then I am going to revoke them for everyone - myself too, if I can manage, but failing that, I will sequester myself on a lonely mountain guarded by shaggy and carnivorous beasts so that when a battered and bitten man comes to me seeking the Powers of the Patriarchy, I will laugh and throw him off the mountain.

Or tl;dr - You're lovely (which you know, but validation never hurt), that guy was an asshole wielding powers he was far too irresponsible to have and I want to be Crom.
Awright, Bro' Chaos, if it makes you happy. I guess I don't really understand what the "powers of patriarchy" are. To me a Patriarch is either Havelock Vetinari in Discworld or someone who supports the arts, both of whom, I think, would be fine examples for any ambitious fellow to emulate. But ceding words like power and patriarchy to immature pissants who think tacking a "miss" to the end of an insult makes it any cleverer? Nah. Nah - you can do better than that, mon frere. You can redefine patriarchy to mean YOU. And we shall one day take it to mean "deeply thoughtful and wildly sensitive and demonically poetic..."

"...And nice to cats."

And I think that would be cool, too.

Edited at 2012-08-12 04:40 am (UTC)
Well, I've had close friends grab my ass before. If it's in fun, and if the boundaries are defined, understood and respected between friends, it's not really uncomfortable.

In fact, it was my friend Nin who told me (and she was the first one to ever tell me this, like, ever) as I was walking in front of her up her basement stairs, that I had a really nice ass. Surprised the hell out of me. The closest anyone'd come was my brother's friend, who told my brother, right in my hearing, "Your sister'd have a nice ass if she lost some weight."

Which isn't the same thing!

You can't imagine the novelty of such a compliment. (Well, maybe you can!) And she meant it too. You can always tell when people mean it.

Anyway, I can tell YOU mean it. So regardless of my sexual preference, I don't mind a little SQUEEZE from you across the many miles. :)

Edited at 2012-08-12 04:43 am (UTC)
The thing is, you and jerks like that are not living in the same world. Sure, you share some overlap of physical area; but his life is being lived in a toxic sphere (diesel clouds and noxious muck!) that's far from the rarified air you breathe. Because you are somewhere else entirely: you are moving through your very own version of the world, which you are creating. You are taking the materials you are given and you are reimagining them, suffusing them with new color, setting them aglow. You are spinning them out all around you as you go, building a brave new world. And most wonderful of all: you are putting your visions into words that invite others to share the view with you. You open the door so that we may widen our own worlds to connect with yours, and visit.

So, yeah. Guys like that, who are shut away in dim dingy lives, may think the whole universe is like the grubby insides of their own heads, but they clearly do not understand the rules of your world, where that sort of bullshit just does not fly. Their comments simply make no sense in your world. You exist in other dimensions, dimensions which are shared by people you love and respect; in which women are in fact more than assortments of sexualized body parts to be judged (and condemned) by men.

In all true versions of the world, you are gorgeous and glorious and brilliant and gentle and powerful and filled with soaring graceful magic.

I want to tell you how beautiful this post is, how moving it is to read your honest words and see you reach toward magic in the midst of pain. How much it makes me want to wrap soft blankets around you and feed you tea and cookies. How much I can relate to that terrible feeling, which only makes me respect all the more the way you are spinning dross into gold. I know it's harder than it looks. I know you've got the strength to do it.
You know, I love you? I hope you know that? I don't think I ever told you, but I might as well, right here and now. I love you. And I've been missing you, actually, and thinking about writing you a letter. I'm jealous every time Amal says she chats with you on g-chat or talks with you on her landline (I mean, it's a two way jealousy, in that I'm jealous of both of you for each other's sake. But it's not a BAD or BITTER jealousy.)

I mean, it's not like I don't have your number. I could totally call you.

Maybe in the fall, when things slow down and I'm not playing desperate catch up on my few days off. I owe so many phone calls and letters, but there is a pleasure in finally getting to them. And I look forward to that pleasure with you.

And thank you. I'm glad you inhabit an intersecting world similar enough to my own that we can recognize each other in passing. I hope you are well.
I am sorry that you encountered someone so ill-mannered and lacking in aesthetic sense at a time when you were looking forward to so much wonder and enjoyment, especially as his pathetic attempt to drag you into his poorly-ventilated headspace made your evening less than it should rightfully have been.

(Positive comments about someone's appearance do not simply counteract negative ones in a mathematical fashion, and I generally refrain from making comments on my friends' appearances[1] in order to avoid causing them discomfort or concern about my motives...but should you feel that my positive comments would be of assistance, these photos are quite suitable inspiration.)

[1] Though there can be exceptions when the conversational context makes it reasonable to do so.
Thanks, Christopher! Yeah, the math never adds up, which is a damned shame, because I generally get far more compliments than insults. But I think it's that kind of love I've been shown that lets me get on with my life, rather than sort of be a shattered wreck for days. I am buoyed out of the muck by a sense of well-being... And almost a... a directive to take care of myself, for the sake of those who love me.

So thank you.
I'd love you to think that the beautiful night, and the wind, was me wrapping my arms around you in a hug that I HATE not being able to really give you, being, as I am, too too too far away. I have loved you since the moment I met you, have thought you beautiful, glowing, radiant, lovely, fascinating, irresistible - always irresistible. I am never so free as when I am with you. I am freer with you than when I am alone. Isn't that a miraculous thing?
It is, my beauty. And I so wished that I could've called you right after, to hear your voice and how you'd just ROLL YOUR EYES over your phone, or make tongue-clucking noises, or put Tara on to babble or something.

Kiri, I really HAVE to figure out how to make international calls on my phone. Like, with a phone card. You'd think, after ALL THESE YEARS of you studying or living overseas, I'd be able to do that!!!

I love you.
The only thing I was going to add to what sevenravens said was that, while you may not like the song (LOL; I just typed "snog," which is British slang for kissing, which I think you know, and I'm sure you must like. Kissing, that is)--though I do like the song--that song "Baby's Got Back" is a testament to how much some guys really do like a phat ass. (If you don't know the song and you listen, you've got to ignore the intro, which is a (stereo)typical mean girl doing fat shaming).

There was a woman once whom I knew who looked like a mermaid mislaid on land. She moved everywhere so gracefully, like she was underwater. She had long, thick, curling pale hair that fell half down her back. She was not a tiny woman, she was large, and one of the most beautiful people I'd ever seen, and she knew, without being particularly vain (just recognizing a truth) that she was beautiful, and she took pleasure in her body and her movements. She was a pleasure to look at. Tiny girls can, of course, be pretty as well, but I will never forget this particular woman's beauty. You couldn't divorce it from its size.

You are like she is. Stunningly beautiful, exactly as you are. People have been known to be dazzled. Well, I can speak for one people, anyway.


Edited at 2012-08-12 09:01 am (UTC)
I know that song. It is a pretty damn exuberant song.
Reading this post, I want nothing so much as to appear before you and present you with a long knife gleaming with viscera, and say that the world has wasted a little less space.

I also want to shout fiercely in support of this magnificent post, of which I am in awe, that you took such twisting slime and killed it with fire.

I also second everything Karen said because of course.

And further I love you and miss you and got the third postcard.

You are best.

I love your bottom as I love your FACE.
I am GLAD you got the third postcard!!! AREN'T THE VINTAGE COVERS LOVELY? And old-fashioned? And LOVELY? I love that we can be Emilys together. Emilys with knives, in your case, my Star.

You're funny. You make me laugh.
You are beautiful, you know, every bit of you. And your pictures are wondrous.
Thank you! The pictures made me less angry, that's for sure. Not least because the act of taking a photograph of my bum outside the public library (and the contortions it took with the iPhone touch screen) was hilarious in its own right. I wish I were quicker witted in the face of stupid insults, but it's always such a surprise, because, well, mostly people DON'T suck. And mostly I'm just allowed to feel beautiful. Which is cool.
Had I A) been there, and B) been as quick on my mental feet as fictional characters always are, this is what I would have said.

Because what he shouted is utter nonsense.
That's funny! What's it from?

I mean, it wasn't nonsense, I guess - it just didn't make any sense for him to say it to a stranger. What could he possibly have thought to accomplish outside humiliation? I wonder if he went through that night riding on a weird upsurge of power or just forgot it immediately. I wonder who else he might have insulted. I wonder if the driver in the car whacked him and called him an asshole, or if they were laughing along.

Soon, I'm going to invoke voluntary amnesia and put the thought of him entirely out of my head.

But I'll keep the owl shaving, I think.
Aww, you look so sad and serious in those pictures. Sympathies and (now very redundant) assurances that you're very attractive.
Yeah, those are my big, sad, angry eyes. But don't worry, I have smiling eyes this morning. A good night's sleep and a day off now and again work wonders. :-)

Thanks. I like your funny userpic. What is it???
Were this a just world, the douchenozzle would have drowned in the river later that evening, a victim of his own drunkneness, with the tattered remains of a hot dog still trapped in his throat. And when his bloated, water-soaked body is pulled from the depths, you could say "No, sir, that is a fat ass."

And then you would don a pair of sunglasses, David Caruso style.

I've only met you briefly at ReaderCon but passionate and vivacious better describe you than any words this man used. I'm sorry to hear he tainted your evening so badly. I hope his boorishness catches up with him.
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