Dirty Money

I felt it before I saw it. 

Warm, wet, right between my legs as I was in a meeting with clients. We were talking about how much revenue they made from X campaigns and how the email open rates were—a realm of life that wasn’t real except between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, god willing.

What I knew to be visceral and tangible was the blood now seeping into my underwear and certainly through my pants. But it was also comforting and cleansing. It was another confirmation that I wasn’t pregnant (because I didn’t want to be), another realization that I was solely tied to the moon and the revolving days around the sun. I could count the days perfectly between my cycles and it felt calming that I knew my body so well, that when my breasts felt heavy and my moods turned red, I could count on blood to pour out of me. 

I knew myself as two parts, my mind and my body. My body was telling me that I couldn’t just sit there and talk about useless economics. I needed to go to the bathroom. My body was telling me that I was much more ancient than the computers connecting me to my clients. 

The language used between my clients and I was fictional, created only because everyone had to pay their rent and mortgages. I would never have crossed paths with my client had I not been tied to the green symbol of America. 

The language between my body and mind, though... that was the truth. There’s a third part of my identity I have not found, yet I search for it in wasteless efforts—the soul. 

Perhaps the soul is the grammatical structure between mind and body. Perhaps it’s the language that allows our limbs to tell us that we are tired, allows our mind to tell our body to give it just one more go. Wake up. Don’t forget you’re bleeding, that your heart is beating, that you have to wake up today. And tomorrow. And so on until the soul decides it’s spoken enough and has nothing left to say.

All of this thought in an instant as my client continued to ask me how the open rates were doing. With my legs wide open, I said great, showed the data, ended the meeting and walked to the metal bathroom. 

It was so sterile compared to the bloody mess staining the inside of my thighs. I thought of grabbing a tampon, or stuffing toilet paper inside my underwear, but what was the point? 

The janitor cleans the bathrooms every single day. I wash my body every single day. I pray to god for my hair to be less greasy when I wake up. I freak out when I see a pimple pop out. I wash my hands, take my vitamins, moisturize my face—all to look beautiful and stay healthy. 

My body laughs at the thought that my mind and its actions can control the aging process. 

But the blood was my blood. The feeling of stickiness was one that only I could produce for myself. I sat on the toilet and stayed there for a few extra moments to hide from the unreal conversations I was about to re-enter. 

The conversations were meant to grow more money—money for the clients and money for the corporations. Money comes from the word mint and the word mint means pristine condition and brand new. 

Money is trying to eradicate everything my body is turning into. 

Soiled, wet, aging, outlines of vein appearing on my calves, wrinkles crowding my forehead. With money, I can become brand new.

America wants us to trust and say, money can solve all of our stains. But women trust that our bodies will continue to bleed until the soul language between mind and body says, just rest.