Editor’s Note: This article deals explicitly with tales of bullying and includes derogatory gay slurs; and some readers may find it stressful or triggering. It’s also disgusting.
When I was a teenager, I was terrified of the vagina. I had just watched the movie Alien and decided to Google the “facehugger” creature. I saw striking similarities between the bottom of the facehugger and the pink flesh I saw in my dad’s nudie mags. I became afraid that if I were to ever put my face near a vagina, a woman would wrap her legs around my head and plant an egg in my stomach, which would explode out of my chest in a matter of hours. I had a very terrible sex ed teacher. Thanks Texan public education.
Even though I have learned what a beautiful experience the menstruation cycle is and all that jazz, my disgust over period blood and tampons still persists, but I have a VERY GOOD REASON!
High school, as you know, fosters many horrible memories. Bullying, acne, a lack of attention from girls (which, given my fear of box, was not something I was too upset about). But nothing comes close to the experiences of riding the bus. I only had to ride the bus in high school for a year before my older brother got his driver’s license. But the things that happened to me on that yellow death wagon will never be forgotten.
There was the time I was called a “faggot” for mouthing along to Gwen Stefani’s “Rich Girl.” Then there was the time I was called a “faggot” for having a lisp. Oh, and who could forget the time I was called a “faggot” because some people thought that I was acting like one, whatever that means? But of all the memories I have from riding the bus in high school, one stands out above all others.
It was sophomore year and I was riding bus 732. My bus went through the wealthy neighborhood and the white trash neighborhood across the street, or “my neighborhood.” Every day, I was forced to watch as kids who were much more privileged than me got off the bus to walk into their four car garages. We even got to drive by Slim Thug’s house. I knew a few people with questionable character who would brag to everyone Monday morning about how they partied at Slim Thug’s house. I never got invited to Slim Thug’s parties. Fuck you, Slim Thug.
So, I’m sitting on seat six in the passenger side. I was lucky enough to be hated for being a “faggot” and a “Jew” (I was straight and Episcopalian) so I often sat alone. Behind me, in seat nine, was the dreaded she-wolf: Christina McKinney. She had a face that could scare a pizza stain off a paper plate. She also had a terrible personality because so many people made fun of her for how she looked and talked. So, naturally, she took it out on other people, primarily me. She’d yell at me, hit me, and egg people on into making fun of me. Oh, and she’d also egg people and passing cars. She was the scourge of the neighborhood.
I was reading Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead because I was that kind of asshole in high school. I liked to think of myself as Howard Roark, a man who would do as he pleased and not care what anyone else said. Except, you know, without all the rape. Geez, Ayn. Get it together.
A strong flow, rich in iron, fit to rule the nation with its bounty and inherent strength.
–Ayn Rand’s Period.
I wasn’t on the bus too long before the daily teasing began. This time it was about my eyelids. My eyelids are slightly darker than the rest of my skin. I like to think they add an air of mysteriousness to an already beautiful face. My busmates thought they made me look like I was wearing makeup.
I’ll let you guess what Fraulein McKinney called me. I decided to channel my inner Roark and ignored her. She kept shouting obscenities at me, but I would not be shaken. I was a rock. A pillar of strength. A testament of human ingenuity and-SPLUT!
I experienced a few things. 1) I felt something wet hit my face. 2) I felt something wet slide down my face. I touched my cheek and looked at my fingers. They were red. Blood red. I looked down and saw something on the bus seat. It was white and red. Blood red.
Like this. But backwards.
It was a used tampon. Christina McKinney had taken her tampon out of her vagina and thrown it at my face. I was horrified. Paralyzed. Stupefied. My face was covered in super gross period blood from the ogre of the bus. Everyone was laughing at me and I wanted to cry. It became the new worst thing to ever happen to me, kicking “getting manboobs” out of 1st. I was small at 5’6” so I sat in my seat, holding back tears, for four more stops until the bus arrived to my house. I walked upstairs, washed my face, and laid on my bed. The last thing I remember was staring up at the ceiling, muttering, “the horror… the horror…”