Remember when we crossed the bridges of London? of Paris? of Florence? The beaches of Goa? of Barcelona? of Cartagena? The streets of Bangkok? of Tokyo? of New York City? Nobody held your hand.
BY ERICA GARZA
If these thighs could talk, they’d say:
Remember when we carried you to the finish line of that race in the 5th grade? You were terrified to fail in front of all those people. But you didn’t. You won. It was the first time you became conscious of this fact: fear doesn’t always equal truth. Sure, your lungs deserve some credit. But let’s face it. We were the main attraction that day. Steady, consistent, infallible. We made it, you and us.
Remember when you decided to walk up to him, that first him, and tell him what you thought? Yes, even when your knees got weak, your head got dizzy, your throat got tight (they’re such suckers for romance!) we held you up, strong and present. We didn’t let you melt into a pool of emotional goo.
Remember when you made that decision to open up, to allow that other him to enter, to fill up, to join you on that most delicious evening? We were there too. Inviting, welcoming, excited.
Remember when you made that other decision to refuse, to deny, to trust your gut, to say, “No, I don’t want to,” and so we didn’t; we took with us our decision and went the other way.
Remember when we made our way across the dance floor, even with your shaky hands and feeble explanation of not having any rhythm. Your hips told a different story, and so did we.
Remember when we climbed the steps to the top of Il Duomo? to Sacre Coeur? to the oldest nunnery north of the Alps?
Remember when we crossed the bridges of London? of Paris? of Florence? The beaches of Goa? of Barcelona? of Cartagena? The streets of Bangkok? of Tokyo? of New York City?
Nobody held your hand.
But, we, we held your body, your heart, your will.
You made the decisions, even when they didn’t make sense to anyone but you, and we collaborated, we conspired, we came through.
Sorry to saturate you in nostalgia, but now that we have your attention, may we ask then:
Why all the hate? You cover us up from the sunshine like you’re embarrassed to be seen with us. No miniskirts, no tiny shorts, no cute bikini bottom. You grab hold of us as if to strangle us, violently hold us up, then let us fall, again and again, cursing and ridiculing because of this thing outside our control – gravity? Ever heard of it?
And we’re tired, you’re tired, of all the stress you put on us. Let’s be honest, the lunges, the Brazilian workouts, the Pilates, the speed walking, the bicycle, it’s all good in moderation, but you only do this shit when you’re angry at us and you’re never patient. In fact, you’re demanding and cruel and we’ve just about had enough of you.
So ease up. We’re not trying to sound harsh, but all this shit you preach about, you damn well better practice because we’ve got a lot more to see and do in this life and it’s not going to be as fun if we aren’t getting along.
Erica Garza's essays have appeared in Salon, Narratively, Alternet, BUST, Refinery29, Bustle, Vival, Mamamia, Role Reboot, Hello Giggles and The Los Angeles Review. She has contributed food reviews for the publications Maui Now and Brooklyn Exposed and worked as a copywriter for a digital marketing agency in Manhattan. In 2010, she earned her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Columbia University and is now at work on her first book. Born in Los Angeles to Mexican parents, Erica has spent most of her adult life traveling and living abroad in such places as Florence, London, Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, Bogota, Bali, Bangkok, Koh Samui, Chennai, Melbourne and the island of Maui.