Oct 20, 2007, Revised August 5, 2017
People often told her she thought too much.
Her father always told her she had a ‘big head’, and that it was a source of too much pride.
Her last boyfriend called her a “mind fuck.”
Maybe she did think too much, but she needed answers. They were often answers she knew already but couldn’t accept so easily. Unwilling to accept that things were “because,” likelypissed people off, and hearing “nothing” was never enough for her.
Even when she was little, her independent inquisitions put her in an odd place—or rather back then, it put others in uncomfortable positions, and they were left to contend with a huge brain and mouth on a tiny child’s body.
When she was 3 it was why she had to wear clothes, at 4 it was why mommy had to sit to urinate, and daddy did not. When she was 5 it was why she did not have a black mommy. At 7 she wondered why everyone laughed when she sang her alphabet in front of her 1st grade class. And at 9, it was why she was bleeding and everyone only blushed and looked away in shame at this emergency.
The older she got, the more she kept her questions to herself. When answers were not enough, it was obvious no one else around her could accurately explain things, her questions grew and were buried deeper in her mind.
For starters she never asked why it was that people always told her she was beautiful, but no boys were ever interested in her, romantically. Nor why the most sinful people in her life were usually the first to thump the Bible at her. And she never asked why all the tears she spilled, or pain she felt was excused for the fact that she was “a teenager”.
Maybe it was because her questions irritated, angered, or baffled people that she eventually stopped asking them. And so her head grew in depth as more questions and independent inquiries filled its cavity.
She kept her questions to herself for a length of time, but this, did change, eventually, as she grew into her womanhood. At one time, when she had used a thesaurus, in the midst of writing a “Dear John” letter for her mind-fucked-ex, she found the word, the one that made evertyhing clear to her. It was one of those words one might read a million times in textbooks, or books written by brainy, pretentious fiction writers that your eyes glaze over, ignoring. Maybe had she just looked it up one of those times it would have answered her question of questions.
“Epistemology,” theory of knowledge. Her mind fucking was a science. Knowledge, what was it? The question of questions, what is, what isn’t, and why? Because evidently, she was not the only one who realized that “because” was not an answer.
And maybe this was why she had made so many people so damn uncomfortable; Her innocent questions made others feel inept because suddenly they realized, she was right—they did not know “why.”
By the end, she was damn proud of that letter. It made her smirk to think of him needing to look the word up in an encyclopedia, or rather ignoring it, unwilling to admit he did not know something she did. And she smiled about having the last laugh, the final say, and the final “mind-fuck”.
She laughed as she slipped the letter into the mail and it slid down into the great belly of the blue tin box. As she walked away she whispered defiantly into the thick summer air, “Hope that was as good for you, as it was for me.”