My Body is a 1976 Datsun 710 Wagon


Last night, I decided to get out of the pajama pants and sweatshirt I’d been wearing for two days – one of three sets I’ve kept on rotation for almost a week –put on some bottoms made of denim that contained a metal fastener, in addition to an actual sweater, and go be in the world with people for a few hours. After dinner with my boyfriend, I met my friend Amanda for a short time.

“Hi, love,” Amanda greeted me. “Wow! You look great!”

“People keep saying that,” I told her.

“Well,” she beamed, “It’s because you’re just so amazing!”

“Gosh, thanks,” I said. “But I don’t think so. I mean, yes, I’m awesome. But I don’t think that’s why I’m healing so well. I mean, look. I was cheated on a lot of things when I was born. I was poor, I lived in Roswell, I was born to teenage biker parents of the Hell’s Angel variety. There was abuse and drug use and alcoholism and… Just all the shit. But I was also put into this kind of unbelievable body. You know? The machine I was given to drive around has been really fucking forgiving. I mean, look at my hair and teeth! I didn’t see a dentist for the first time until I was 21! I’ve never had braces! I have put my body through absolute hell – and it has bounced back like a goddammed champ every time. That’s not me, dude. That’s my body. You know what it’s like? It’s like that old orange Datsun station wagon you see driving around.”

“You mean the one with 420,000 miles on the engine and a rusted out floorboard?”

“Yes! Totally like that! My body is relentless! I have nothing to do with that. I’m just really fucking lucky. Now, the can-do attitude I sometimes have or my inability to settle for good enough? Those kinds of things? Sure. Those are me – the thing inside this awesome machine. I mean maybe those are me. Who knows?”

“Right…” Amanda agreed.

Then she and I toasted our incredible, resilient bodies – she with her beer and I with my water. Half an hour later, we hugged and said goodbye and I went home so that I could play Scrabble and go to sleep before 10, just like my trustworthy meat machine needs.


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