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Stay Fierce, Bruja

I’ve started drumming on my hot tub deck. It started the night my neighbor put black duct tape through my pro choice sign and broken-record-shouted, “Florie is a baby killer” for HOURS, deep into the night. First discovering punk music on my ukulele, I suddenly felt an urge, like lightening, sweep through me and I ran into the house, wiped the cobwebs off my snake drum, and rushed up onto the deck. 

Crazy sounds came out of me, ancient sounds, high pitched wild woman “ay yi yi yi yi yiyiyiiyiyyiiii” that could be heard from blocks. It must have been quite the scene for the suburban dog walker, this middle aged white lady, dead lawn strewn with scooters and bikes, street light illuminating her pacing in circles, call and response with my neighbor sing-song shouting, “Kill some babies Florie.” 

Something has grown and snapped open in me that I don’t want to go away. There’s a welcome fed upness. All my life I’ve seen the best in people, believed excuses, stood smiling at monologuing men while my feet hurt, given all my apples and branches and breastmilk away. But I’m done now with excuses. I’m done with men who don’t handle their shit, so that we have to, whether that’s wiping their pee off the toilet seat, calling the police to get my drunk neighbor off my lawn because he never went to therapy when his wife died, or trying to explain why it’s not ok for the leader of our country to gloat about grabbing women in the pussy.

Watch out motherfuckers.

I’m also fighting fatigue because I’m iron deficient due to these Texas Chainsaw massacre perimenopausal periods. I’m talking crazy Pele lava gushes in the middle of the night, changing saturated tampons hourly, days and days of blood. When I stood up after my appointment at the bank the other day, I was like, “Oh shit.” 

“I’ll walk you over to the teller so you can make the required deposit to set up your new account.”

Fuck. I’m pretty sure you can’t use a bank bathroom, especially during COVID, so I take these tiny steps, thighs clenched, through the roped line to the teller. If there is a Guinness record for longest kegel, I am challenging it. Finally at the counter, I search my bag and find a white cotton mask the co-op gave me when I forgot mine the other day, reach up under my short dress, and jam it in my underwear. Whoever’s behind the security cameras must have been like, “Whoa, can I get some help please? What is that lady at Teller #4 doing?!!! Does she have a gun in her underwear?!”

This could all be solved with hormone therapy, probably even just birth control, but I am afraid of losing this ferocity. I feel like the quintessential crazy perimenopause lady but I don’t feel crazy, I feel sane.

For Halloween wouldn’t it be rad to have a huge mass of women dressed up in charred dresses, carrying signs saying, “We are the witches you burned.” We could smear ourselves with menstrual blood and make just the right the people who need to, quake in their boots. It’s time for witches to make their comeback. It’s time to rematriate the land. Patriarchy needs to be over. Colonialism needs to be over. Relentless extraction needs to be over. 

We need bitchy crones. We need fierce brujas. We need women crazy enough, and privileged enough, to shout and drum on their suburban hot tub decks and get those motherfuckers off of our lawns, out of our forests, out of our rivers. 

Covid was a break in the spell. Do not go back to sleep. 

We need you bruja, stay fierce.