Meet Our Readers

She said yes! This Wednesday, Mary Fons, Rebecca Makkai, Veronica Vidal, and Rebecca Duxler bring us stories of Wedding Bells at Gallery Cabaret. No hole in the wall’s gonna ruin our special day (no really, that happened last week):

hole in the building

But onto the readers:

Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai is a fiction writer who does occasional live lit so that her inner high school theater geek never dies. She has two novels, The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and a story collection, Music for Wartime. The story collection was printed on special paper made from that one tree that fell in the woods when no one was there to hear it. She teaches at Northwestern University and StoryStudio Chicago, and she lives on the North Shore, where she enjoys alarming all the Republicans.

Veronica Vidal

Veronica VidalOriginally from the land of Happy Days, Harley Davidson, and THE BEST fish fry, Veronica Vidal was born and raised in Milwaukee but has called Chicago home for 19 years now. She has performed at Is This A Thing and a couple of open mics. In her free time, she is slowly trying to rid the world of acronyms.

 

 

 

Mary Fons

mary fonsMary Fons is a writer and designer who loves Chicago a lot, especially downtown Chicago, which is where she lives. She is a proud Chicago Neo-Futurist and is currently pursuing her Writing MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She teaches writing at the University of Chicago Writer’s Studio and if you want to take her “Stories Onstage: Writing To Perform” class (four weeks long) you should do it. Mary writes a blog called PaperGirl and it’s loads of fun.

Rebecca Duxler

Rebecca DuxlerYour Friendly Neighborhood Uber Driver by day, literary artist and athlete by night, Rebecca Duxler is always hungry for adventures. As a super nerd and a black belt, she is usually found taking people’s breath away on a Dance Dance Revolution Machine, in the kitchen cooking way too much food, giving people glove and orbit light shows, on the computer writing and making websites, on the fighting field, and on stage. She has performed at various open mic nites, literary shows, variety shows, and local “Got Talent” contests across Chicago and the surrounding area. She is the proud owner of several blogs, such as “Your Friendly Neighborhood Uber Driver”, a blog documenting the (mis)adventures of being a rideshare driver. Rebecca’s ultimate goal is to be able to make a difference in the world with healthspiration (health and inspiration), spread positivity, enjoy randomly spontaneous moments, and share her contagious laughs! Someday, she will be a game show winner, the “Got Talent” queen, and the next million dollar winner on Wheel of Fortune!

 

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Rose Tinted Period

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This is the bag they want you to use to dispose of your lady period items even though the little silver tin box next to the toilet is already lined with that brown paper bag.

As you can see, it has flowers on it to remind you that the blood soaked items you are shoving in there are really like a bouquet of roses or at the very least, it’s nice wrapping paper for the stubby cotton vagina plug covered in your uterine lining.

I accidentally bought scented tampons a couple of months ago. I didn’t even know that was a thing so I wasn’t really making sure I grabbed the right ones. I mean the ones that glide in nicer and cost more because comfort always comes at a higher price and the ones who are for women who do “sports” and move more than non-sports women are much easier to distinguish.

I was enraged. And sure, I guess most people would chalk my reaction up to being hormonal, and on the rag and you know, acting like every woman does when it’s THAT TIME OF THE MONTH or whatever. But seriously, this notion that at every turn something and someone is telling me that the natural things happening to and from my body are disgusting and need to be disguised in fucking perfume is like, A PROBLEM.

I need to look like a flower and smell like a flower and then wrap my flower into flower printed and flower scented things. I need to shove a flower into my flower when flowers come out.

And no, maybe I don’t want or need an illustration of a bloody pad to be stickered on that silver tin box next to the toilet to notify of me where I’m supposed to be throwing my period items away, but It’s better than a floral barf bag.

I’m pissed that even having and sharing these thoughts will evoke some (man) response about geez, what is the big deal?

Maybe it’s that I’m sick of hiding things about my body, my woman body. I’m tired of everything being so shrouded in secrecy and myth and worse, tidied up into something palatable for who, men? I’m using the goddamn women’s bathroom, let’s get real here.

I get compact tampons and thin as a razor pads for convenience factors, but not for what I believe to be the overarching implication that I should never LET ON that I have my period even though it’s probably widely known, though not entirely accepted (?), that I may at some point be on my period when you come into contact with me.

Also, PMS is who I am. No really, hormones may beef up my anxiety or depression or anger or irritability, but at the end of the day, I am me and this is all of me and if you choose to not like me or ignore me or discount me for 20-25% of the month than you are rejecting ¼ of me and that’s not really going to fly.

I’m sorry I snapped and I’m sorry I overreacted and I’m sorry I grunted and rolled my eyes and sighed and yelled and cried. But I also can’t help it. So when I tell you I’m acting this way because of my period, it’s not an excuse, it’s that I’m trying to communicate that I’m having some difficulties and could really use your patience and sympathy and to still listen to my words even when they’re hard to hear through the tone of my voice and the look on my face.

But how can you empathize when what I’m going through is explained to the world as this temporary insanity that we mock and make fun of? And on top of that I’m miserable and unable to put on a happy face and have an Everything’s Fine attitude.

You’re taught to not express your feelings and I’m taught that I can cry, but only because I’m weak.

So yeah.

I’m tired. Very tired.

So, so tired of everything women go through only to be faced with scented tampons and floral disposal bags which are not so quietly reminding us to cover it all up in niceties because that’s easier for everyone else.

-Carly