At the close of a lovely yoga class this morning, dashing into the washroom after downing my yogi tea, my hands are quickly covered in blood. It's disgusting, it's funny, it's familiar. I remove the drenched super tampon and wrap it in oodles of toilet paper, trying to keep from dripping on my clothes. Dressed in yoga black, it's not as precarious as last night's adventure. After a lovely family outing to see Talladega Nights I realize I better hit the ladies' room tho we're just five minutes from home. My underwear is blood red, the stain leaked to my jeans. I have to manuever the tampon removal and yards of t.p. to cover the stain without soiling my summer whites. Remembering a nifty tip from a puberty book I bought for G. that I don't believe she ever read, I tie my ever-ready A.C. friendly sweater around my waist. John says later, "After all these years, can't you figure out a way to avoid this?" And it's funny to me that I can't. It's funny to me that month after month after month in this female life I've enjoyed that I'm still surprised and in awe of the blood. I'm always happy to see it. It's usually a relief from irritation and discomfort. The flow is dramatic and lively. Off topic here you think? In the 50s & 60s this monthly bleed was to be referred to as "my friend." For me, it has been.
I worry a bit about it's cessation. The cycle is so real with tangible effects. Which part will remain when the cycle stills? Probably not the titillation that ovulation brings. Certainly not the release and calm of the flow. I hope not the irritation and discomfort of PMS. The cycle grounds me in it's consistency and surprise. Will it come today? I feel it coming, I'm sure it's coming, damn, where is it? And the humor of the upkeep. I can't even count the times I've stained the sheets. Ooh, there it is again, the absolute familiarity and the surprise.
Good qualities in a friend.