Some men are painting my house. While they paint, they talk about women.

“I like ’em with long legs,” says one of the men. “Not big bellies. Long legs.”

Later he says he does not believe in cheating. At first I think he is chivalrous.

Then he says, “People think when you sleep with someone else, you’re rejecting them. But you can only reject yourself.”

This man appears in my window and needs help with something. He needs me to hold the screen while he bashes himself against it. Afterwards, he smiles at me, and I see that even though I do not have long legs, I am part of Women.

A day will come when I will not be part of that kind of Women anymore, and I wonder what I will think then when men paint my house. Probably they will still talk about women and I will be angry. But I hope instead I listen to them the way I listened to the children doing a crossword on the Greyhound bus, trying to decide where to put the ‘n’ in ‘cloud.’


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