An Abbreviated Catalogue of Things Passed In and Out of One Vagina
- A tampon. The string freaked her out. She was scared it would get lost, swimming inside her and later, that happened — a boy was in her and she had forgot that there was a tampon, too. When she remembered, she laughed — it was less horror movie, more discomfort, another crazy war story of sexual experience: You’ll never believe what happened…
- Fingers. It needed to be someone else first — a boyfriend, a doctor — before she was brave enough to try her own. After blood, her body had become a mystery and then it waged war against her, hurling pimples! blood! fat! snot! disturbing sounds! Fingers brought détente, and they were temporary allies before shame came back.
- A plastic wizard’s wand. Because she could.
- Cocks/Dicks. Dicks were American. Items: one dick, circumcised and angry; one dick, uncircumcised, shy but passive-aggressive; one dick or cock (hard to determine because subject was English at birth but moved to America), circumcised again, complete with shaved scrotum; one dick, uncircumcised; one dick, uncircumcised? (blurry drunk memory prevented proper notation); one dick, uncircumcised and guilty. Item, one cock, surprisingly friendly, not mean. But then she missed the dicks because they told her things felt truer, that for that moment, she was nothing, just a body to be used.
- A lost condom and spermicide. “Something’s wrong,” he said after the first time. She fished out the condom while staring at the ceiling of his mother’s minivan (its bumper sticker read: Beam Me Up, Merlin). There was debris in a very small sea. They bought a plastic applicator for pushing up white fluff that would try to kill whatever was left.
- Specula and other one-time use equipment that comes pre-packaged in plastic. Cold specula look like salad serving tongs and precede the scraping of cells.
- A banana.
- Tongues and fluid. Tongues were preferable to fingers but liable for more embarrassment. Example: a boyfriend emerged, aghast, “You peed on me!” She tried to argue — she didn’t think she would mix up those holes. But he was a know-it-all who had a way of saying things that made them feel true even when she knew otherwise. For years, until she saw a porn star squirt, she assumed she had peed on him. Then she thought, He never knew.
- An ultrasound wand. An impersonal tech in scrubs covered it with a condom, then jelly. It probed for answers.
- Tablets. “Really get the tablets up there,” the pharmacist said. “If you need to, you can just dip it in water to help it go in. Just quickly though, so it doesn’t dissolve.”
- A grey embryo and a coiled pinkish cord-like thing. “Look,” she cried, pointing. “It’s an unbaby!”
- Stainless steel Ben Wa balls.
- A jade yoni egg (after reading Goop).
- A baby.
Emi Benn lives in Hamilton, Ontario. Her fiction has appeared in apt, Broken Pencil, Day One, and Joyland, among other publications, as well as in translation.
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Image: Kawanabe Kyosai