Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Women Are So Much More Interesting To Men (Than Men Are To Women) by Charlotte Hayden

Charlotte Hayden's stream of consciousness about being a woman and wanting - or perhaps wanting to be - a man.

When my Modernism and Modernity lecturer first stroked my leg I thought, I'll go with it. When my best friend Eloise told me he did the same with her I thought, are you kidding me? I had predicted a lengthy, passionate affair with a 40 year old married professor and instead, after he'd finished with Eloise, he left the university and moved to France. I heard his wife ran off with another woman. Good, I thought. Generally I try not to be bitter. But sometimes it's hard not to indulge myself in some healthy Schadenfreude. Only this morning I couldn't help but take de-light in discovering that a girl I went to school with was left at the altar and the man in question has run off with more than a handful of her money. I remember (at the tender age of 15) when this same girl told me (among other things) that I can't look good in a bikini because my boobs are so small. Now that I am older and less afraid I may well find this girl's ex fiancé and ask him politely to play with my nipples and have sex with me on the beach.



Sometimes when my period is due or when I'm watching a comedy gala and struggle to find any women or when I have a smear test and the nurse tells me that I remind her of a 'little doll' while I lie there with my legs spread in front of her face, I think about what it would be like to be a man.

There is a man in 54b who relentlessly asks me if I would like to have some 'real Ja-maican food' with him. As he has already told me I have an interesting name (I don't have an inter-esting name), a sweet face (I have a hopeless face) and the landlord is a racist (I hadn't noticed), I finally tell him that 'real Jamaican food' doesn't agree with me and unfortunately I have to go as I'm already late for meeting my (imaginary) boyfriend. The man in 54b never liked his flat because he said it was dirty and our building was dirty and the street was dirty and I heard him scream when he saw a rat and I heard him snoring too. I was glad when he moved out after only a couple of months and when I bumped into him shortly after, I told him it was good that he'd found a better place that he could invite his children to as well. I wouldn't like to be a man like the man from 54b. I think perhaps the only thing worse than being a lonely woman is being a lonely man.

I have a maintenance man who I can call to sort out any problems (with my flat). His name is Brian. Brian must be in his 70s and though he struggles with the stairs, he is good with leaks and boilers and washing machines and so on. What I like about Brian is that he's efficient and he wipes his feet at the door. He is everything I look for in a maintenance man. The last time I saw Brian, just as he was leaving he said he was glad he would be getting home in time for Casualty and his wife was going to warm up his roast chicken dinner for him and then off he went and I thought if I were a man, I would be proud to be a Brian.

But being Brian could become dull. Perhaps instead I would be the mystery man. For example, there is a man (I am in lust with) who I've been sleeping with for a while now and the other day, just after I had woke in the night, shouting his name and frantically searching for my pill, I realised (I don't know why) that I don't know where he lives. I've never known where he lives. I've never asked and he's never told me. I've waited for my invitation and it has never arrived. He knows where I live. He knows the ins and outs of my flat as he knows the details of my bare body. I don't know where he lives, I rarely really know what he's thinking, perhaps he doesn't really know what I'm thinking either, but at least he's seen the little yellow ducks on my shower curtain. I would do anything to see the little yellow ducks on his shower curtain.

If I were a man, I would be the type of majestic man that someone like me would label a bloke I met at a place which I was trying to leave. This would be the type of bloke who I would build up in my mind, one meaningful layer at a time, until I realised I made him up inside my head.



In Graham Greene's The End of the Affair, Bendrix tells us, if a woman is in one's thoughts all day, one should not have to dream of her at night. Do you know what I think? That bastard just wanted to fit in other women in his sleep. Let's not forget this was a character created by a writer who had sex in the back of a Rolls Royce whilst the woman's very own husband sat in the front and drove. But I suppose I can't talk. I used to wake up in my boyfriend's bed and think shit, what if he can sense that I dreamt his housemate was doing me in my nan's conservatory. Anyway, I broke up with that useless boyfriend and my counsellor showed no interest in my nan's conservatory which was a bit disappointing.

8 comments:

  1. A tricky tale well told. The challenge is to be a woman, attractive to men, without becoming less than the woman you are? Any answers?
    Keep exploring this rich vein,
    Thank you,
    Ceinwen aydon

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  2. If you were a woman, and you dreamt of being a man, would you dream of being the man you adore, the man who turns you on, the one who presses all the right buttons, or would you dream of being the man who dreams of you that way?

    James Shaffer

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  3. I didn't take any of this seriously. I just let myself enjoy it. For fun.
    Well done.

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  4. i really liked this and agree completely with the title!
    lovely flowing style,

    Michael McCarthy

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  5. Thanks for the kind comments.
    Glad it got you thinking or at least kept you entertained for a brief moment!
    I have other stories etc. of a similar style at:

    http://desperwrite.weebly.com

    Thanks again.
    Charlotte Hayden

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  6. It leaves us thinking of certain things that will never be. It is written with a biting sense of humor. And I like stories that make me laugh.

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  7. I think this is wonderfully told in the way that more of the character's personality is revealed as the story goes on. With her wry humor, she portrays a side of womanhood (a sort of spiteful envy toward other women, the need to stave off loneliness) that few are willing to openly acknowledge.

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  8. Wit. The world needs more not less of it, and luckily this story has come along! I would like to imagine this story as conversation between Dorothy Parker and Anais Nin...during lunch at the Algonquin round table once upon a time in new York city. Thank you for writing it.
    it was a great pleasure to read it. I would like to read more!

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