I was a child and I’d sit there, on the floor
of the salon, to watch my mothers hands, gaunt and the
color of coffee we drink in the morning,
weave between wisps of stranger’s hair.
Before the snips would fall down to the ground,
ephemeral fragments of old stories, pasts.
Matching the stains of the brittle, stale leaves along the
doormat outside, under our window displays during
Afternoon spent listening to gossip from the neighbor
customers, who cheated on who and what the pastor’s
daughter was caught doing last night,
I played with jacks and dressing pins to the noise of scissors gliding, while mother hummed and nodded,
going along with it.
Everything was good, everything was dandy.
Home was quiet with just two, our evenings were silent naps and meals of a very small family. Father,
kept in a small vase on the way top of the living room
bookshelf. So it was just the hairdresser and her daughter- “those poor things”- living week-to-week in the
And that was just the way we liked it.
You hot thing
You hot unstained thing
from “Plastic Sonnet Eight” by Caroline Crew
I’ve got a phobia of swimming pools. The last time I touched one, Cecelia was asking me why I always look like I’m about to cry. Her cheeks were shiny like bubblegum, graceful and round with spices in her hair. I ask her if she ever has to pee so bad that she tears up. She says yes and I say I’ve got a head disease that feels a little like that, except the pressure’s somewhere different. Her pudgy fingers push her swimming goggles into her face so hard, the foam suctioning her face hard enough to give her puffy eyes, like an angry pink raccoon. She shifts under the skin of spit and surfaces dripping with a pile of wet leaves, pushes them into my lap, humming.
In the dream the fish writhe and crack under the surface of the ice, pounding fists. I flinch like I’ve been stabbed when you touch my shoulder, the thing inside my chest is a prism. Stuff happens to me and refracts thousands of times, bouncing off the glass carpet of my skin, a strobe light breaking in a room of epileptics. The funny thing about feeling sick is that speaking about it makes you want to throw up. My mouth fills up with sand, your hands are narrow spiders, starved giants that are looking for a queen, getting lucky between the shrubs of my stomach. You laugh and say “what happened in your childhood”. This is the first time I hate you. I flinch like I’m about to lose it and neither of us are pretending anymore. I tell you that’s not funny, voice shattering like frozen flowers. You laugh, as if I have simply continued the joke.
I can’t let myself get bored anymore. I’ll harden like wax peeled off her hands and eaten. I’m still afraid to ring the doorbell across the street. When I was thirteen I lost it in the middle of the night, like a teenager who can’t hold her liquor— crawled into her bathroom and beamed light out my mouth, broke all down my limbs to let some of the stuff shine out. My mother told me later how she watched me for hours, that she thought if she ignored me the prism would leave. This is why I can’t trip again. I’m scared that nobody’s gonna catch me. Nobody’s gonna swab the snot out of my throat. Everybody’s gonna wash my clothes and ignore the stains. I still puke at the sight of my old clothes, folded into plastic bins, stored cool and clean underground.
When I was eleven years old, I tore my inner foot jumping from wasp-infested chain link. That’s around the age I started wearing winter coats in all my dreams. I didn’t know what was wrong yet. I shaved thin pieces of skin off my calves and hoarded ballpoint pens. The minute I remembered I expanded, it was the snap of metal on an Achilles tendon, the way sometimes you’ve been bleeding without knowing that you’re bleeding until someone tells you. I did the work myself in my parents’ bathroom and reused the needles afterwards, trying to expel it from me, heal it like the inside of a bitten cheek. When Cecelia’s sister is eleven years old, she pulls me underwater. I hug tight to the thin layer of me, the one that drowns.
Thanks for taking the time to read this letter. As fellow YouTubers, we have much respect for others who put so much hard work into building their channel. It’s not easy, and you should be proud! That said, we’ve noticed that in your success, there has been a lack of respect in return…namely, for women and girls.
You may have noticed that your latest video “Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank” has garnered considerable negative attention. In this video, you sexually violate a number of unsuspecting women on the street, many of whom are visibly confused and upset at being touched by you without permission. One woman even says “I don’t like that!” while you proceed to laugh and touch her more. In “How to Make Out with Strangers”, made a year ago, you pressure women on camera to make out with you - again, many of whom are visibly uncool with it. Confused and caught off guard, they painfully follow through with your requests, clearly uncomfortable. In “How to Pick Up Girls with a Lasso”, you physically restrain women on the street with lassos - many of whom look alarmed to be restrained by a stranger on the street.
You’d probably be alarmed too, wouldn’t you? Imagine someone on the street comes up and rubs their hand on your bottom, or a girl walks up to you with a camera and forces her mouth onto yours while you’re trying to figure out what’s going on. Imagine walking down the alley alone, when a guy much larger than you physically restrains you with rope and pulls you toward him. You probably wouldn’t like it, right?
People don’t like to be violated and they don’t like to see their friends and girlfriends be violated either (hence the group of men that tried to beat you up in the lasso video). And yet, history suggests that perhaps you find this humorous. It is very disturbing that we live in a world where the violation of women and girls’ bodies is not only funny, but profitable, and can garner considerable notoriety and views on YouTube.
We are deeply disturbed by this trend and would like to ask you, from one creator to another, to please stop. Please stop violating women and making them uncomfortable on the street for views. Please stop physically restraining them and pressuring them to be sexual when they are uncomfortable. Please show some respect for women’s right to their own bodies. While it may seem like harmless fun, a simple prank, or a “social experiment”, these videos encourage millions of young men and women to see this violation as a normal way to interact with women. 1 in 6 young women (real life ones, just like the ones in your video) are sexually assaulted, and sadly, videos like these will only further increase those numbers.
We realize that people make mistakes, and that sometimes it’s hard to see the ripple effect of one’s actions. We really hope that you will take a step back and consider the power you have to be someone who makes the world a better place. It’s not too late to make a change! We invite you to join us in ending widespread bodily violation that takes place in so many forms all around in the world.
Thanks so much.
Laci Green, Meghan Tonjes, Tyler Oakley, TomSka, ViHart, ALB, Ross Everett, Matt Lieberman, Meg Turney, Tom Flynn, Tyrannosaurus Lex, Arielle Scarcella, Dan at NerdCubed, Rachel Whitehurst, Hannah Witton, Jefferson Bethke, MusicalBethan, Kaleb Nation, Chris Thompson, Michael Buckley, Jared Oban, Liam Dryden, Sanne Vliegenthart, Bryarly Bishop, Nicola Foti, Chescaleigh, Grace Helbig, Wheezy Waiter, Morgan Paige, Nathan Z., MumboJumbo, Miles Jai, Adorian Deck, Alli Speed, Matthew Santoro, Jaclyn Glenn, Hank Green, Rosianna Rojas, Grayson, Taryn Southern, Carrie Hope Fletcher, Adam Hattan, Drew Monson, Josh Sundquist, Mamrie Hart, Strawburry17, Catie Wayne, Hannah Hart, Catrific
[MORE COSIGNERS TO COME. SHARE/REBLOG TO SIGN!]
A NIGHTMARE THAT I REMEMBER.
YOU ARE IN THE GROCERY STORE
AND EVERYONE IS STARING AT ME
BECAUSE I DON’T DESERVE YOU.
AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN.
I AM THE ONE WHO KISSED
LONELINESS ON HIS TEETH.
I AM THE ONE WHO CLIMBED
OUT OF HIS OPEN MOUTH.
HOW DARE YOU.
YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY HEART
I HAVE SWALLOWED.
YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY HAND
THAT FEELS LOVE BACKWARDS.