Reappearing body

There used to be two ugly trees directly behind two palm trees in the backyard, but a couple weeks ago the neighbors had them cut down and removed. I like that the landscape looks more picturesque now.

I don’t know how to feel about the fact that I’m happy two entire trees were killed for the sake of aesthetics.

My parents didn’t like the pine needles that one of them dropped into our pool. The other one shot out seed pods periodically that always startled me and the dogs.

I wonder what the neighbors did with the tree remains.

After tromping around outside I got back in bed and read the entirety of Emily Ratajkowski’s book, My Body. Even though we live two completely different lives, I felt like I could have written that book myself. Almost as if I could have lived her exact life, if something in my timeline shifted ever so slightly.

In July 2020 I took a vow of celibacy and singleness in order to focus my energy on my career and finances.

My appearance used to project more outwardly. Men approached me in stores, or places I worked—or a few times even pulled over to the side of the road if they saw me walking on the sidewalk and offered me a ride.

Somehow in the last year and a half, I seem to have learned the Marilyn Monroe trick, of turning myself off and on, because now I’m invisible. And I like it a lot. Invisible in a way where I still feel pretty but I keep it to myself. I project my energy inwardly.

Seven months ago I deleted all of my social media.

Three months ago my brother died.

Both of those things left me feeling even more invisible, but this time invisible even to myself. I became more and more unconcerned with my appearance and with taking photos of myself. The latter seemed absolutely distasteful and pointless to me.

It’s strange how grief for my little brother has affected the way I see myself. I’ve despised seeing myself in pictures the past couple months. I tried taking selfies periodically, just to see if my anguish was visible on the outside. I couldn’t see any sadness, but I also couldn’t see any beauty. My body felt like a husk.

But today was different. Today I felt cute and pretty, and surprisingly, felt like documenting it. Even more surprisingly was that I liked the way I looked in the pictures. For the first time since my brother died, I feel pretty to myself again.

Still not ready to project myself outward again, to “become her” like Marilyn Monroe. I still like being invisible to the world.

But I’m happy that I started reappearing for myself again.

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