I have a reputation for no-holds-barred honesty, shockingly intimate revelations and naked disclosure. (I’m not sure what that last part means, but it would be a nifty title for an exposé about the figure modeling industry except that there is no figure modeling industry, just a bunch of naked, broke people who haven’t taken enough drugs to make the leap to stripping.)
This intimacy we’ve developed over the past year and a half, it’s vital. You think I have what we have with anyone else? And the reason for our connection is my high-octane candor. (Coincidentally also the name of a buddy flick I have in development about a racecar driver and his therapist.)
My word is my bond, people. Great phrase, feel free to quote me, but keep in mind it carries a lot more heft on the page than when you get to the register to pay for your crème brûlée latte.
My point? Honesty is the cornerstone of our relationship, that and my nominal blogging fee. Which is why it pains me to tell you that I’ve been keeping something from you.
Not the ‘snuggling’ dream I had about my sister’s boyfriend.
Not the fact that I dress the dog up in swimwear.
Not my long-term emotional affair with Levar Burton.
I’ve never told you about my werewolf.
Everything you’re feeling right now is totally normal. Go ahead; let it out. But when you’re done rending your garments and wait, could you not throw that particular vase, it was a gift from my…ooookay, nevermind. Easy come, easy go. Listen, believe it or not my not telling you about the werewolf was an oversight rather than a conscious decision. The werewolf represents such a quotidian aspect of my existence that I even neglected to mention him to my therapist. He only came up in passing.
This also is totally normal.
“So in the dream,” I said, “I was trying to take a shower in another closet with my sister’s boyfriend when I realized the werewolf-” And there I caught myself. “The werewolf is real, actually. My father is a poet and he wrote a poem cycle called The Werewolf Sequence and before I was born my mother made a six-foot tall werewolf out of paper-mâché to sort of go with the book I guess and anyway, I grew up with the werewolf--”
My therapist: “Wait a second, you grew up with a six foot werewolf around?”
Me: “Well, he wasn’t really around, he was mostly in the basement.”
My Therapist: “Oh, that’s better.”
Portrait of a Werewolf as a Young Man (Also my mother.)
Lately I think about the werewolf a lot more than I used to. Probably because he’s always behind me.
See, about a year ago my parent’s basement flooded. The werewolf was fine (He’s a great swimmer, took lessons at the Y.), but the flood prompted my parents to overhaul their basement. The werewolf, a decrepit shadow of his younger self, seemed to my mother ready for the grave.
When my sister discovered my mother’s plan to bury the werewolf, she forbade it.
“Fine,” my mother told my sister, “you take him.”
Which is how he came to live with me.
Road Trip to Chicago
You think you’re upset about the werewolf, let’s talk for a moment about my Significant Other.
Ouch! That anvil of yours is heavier than it looks. You know I have a Significant Other; I never hid her from you! It’s okay, once you start throwing things you just want to keep going; I’ve so been there.
Werewolf/Significant Other Meeting
My SO wasn’t exactly thrilled to discover that a relationship with me means that a sad-eyed werewolf with falling-off feet will forever have a place in her living room, but they say all the hot ones are crazy, so in the end I think she wins. Plus in return for putting up with the werewolf, she gets total control over our apartment’s décor. Well, except for my map of the world shower curtain, an essential accessory of adulthood.
So, that’s it. No more werewolves in my closet. That would be a great memoir title except that I’ve already decided to call my mine The Invisible Traveling Bathroom and Other Things I’ll Never Have, because wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to take your own bathroom with you wherever you go?
Maybe that's another issue for my therapist...
Celebrating our one year anniversary.
A writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum freelances for a number of web sites and print publications. Her debut novel, “Herself When She’s Missing," is forthcoming from Soft Skull, an imprint of Counterpoint Press. She is also a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago’s StoryStudio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She's kind of looking forward to it actually.
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