Free Ophelia

Yesterday I took an enormous step. It was the sort of step that instantly broke lifelong patterns but left no footprint visible to the world at large—the sort that is the hardest aspect of real (not chronological) adulthood. To celebrate, I did not drink a vat of cocktails or inhale a box of chocolates. (I’ve been unsweetened since February.) Rather, I ate a kale salad and attended a critics’ screening of “Hunger Games: Mockingbird—Part 2,” which proved far more pleasurable than its overly punctuated title.

In general, this farrago of earnest vegetables and YA female bad-assery is typical of the tweeny old lady I have become—as if I now embody the full spectrum of Ophelia Syndrome-free womanhood. The remaining question, not to put too fine a point on it, is fucking. That is, how to resurrect—or simply insurrect—my sexuality among the rubble of projections, pits, and pedestals that first bombard women in pre-pubescence. I do not have an answer yet. But to my immense surprise, I finally feel that I belong to myself. Here at the shores of what our culture declares Sad-Lady Spinsterville I have found Wonder Woman’s elusive Amazonia, and lo! it is liberating, if also confounding. This transition from objecthood to sweet subjectivity is the biggest step of all, and I’m even glad there’s not a map. There is, however, a manual, and it’s cracking me up, with every attendant pun.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy