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I am 39 years old. I have been experiencing my period for approximately 24 years now. I still am a mess with the mess.

For starters, I can’t predict the damn thing no matter how hard I try.  I track it and it plays hide and seek.  I decide to pay attention to feelings, bloating, cravings, etc.  It could still be days later until it’s arrival.  I just have no idea when and with what sort of vengeance it will arrive.  I continue to be like – What?  Now?  Every. Damn. Time. 

Of course it would decide to arrive while I am on a plane.  I realize what is happening and find the necessary products in my purse, located in a backpack under the seat in front of me.  I discreetly transfer the products from my purse to my jacket’s pocket and then excuse myself past two men seated in middle and aisle seats to find my way to the bathroom.  I am a bit woozy after sitting for a few hours, so I stumble against the narrow circumstances, and then am a little disoriented to where the bathrooms actually are in relation to my seat.  I decide that the back of the plane is always the safest bet.  So to the back I head, bumping all those limbs sticking out into the aisle and the sideways-ass-bumping-passing that I have to do with another person headed in the opposite direction.  Finally I arrive at the bathroom and the green showing in the little window on the bathroom door indicating vacancy.  I push the accordion style door to enter.  Inside I am met with the gymnastic act that I will have to accomplish in this small space.  I lay out the items necessary to deal with the period and then take out one of those seat covers, place that awkwardly on the seat and then start unwrapping the period gifts.  The trash is inconspicuous and hidden as a small fist sized door.  I push against it to drop my trash.  Then, as I am trying to engage in the act of inserting particular items into my body, the accordion door is pushed against.  My heart skips a beat and my throat closes.  I am sure that I have forgotten to slide the damn bar over to indicate occupancy and that someone, no doubt a man, will get to see this bewildering act of inserting a tampon in a smaller than a small closet sized airplane bathroom.  Thankfully, I had remembered to move the bar, the person on the outside just forgot how to READ or identify color.  Whew.

Now I’m washing my hands and about to push against the accordion door myself, having proudly moved the bar to the right and I catch a glance of my unbuttoned pants. Of course in the midst of pain and bloating, I don’t feel things like my fuckin pants being unbuttoned and unzipped. I wince thinking of what an entertaining and embarrassing act I would have been walking down that aisle.

At my Airbnb the bathroom is white. All white. The whitest of whites. It’s pretty. Not so pretty though when scarlet red is a mad force following you through your days. Being the absolute fool that hasn’t figured out periods, I make a mess of the white. I feel like an out of control slaughter house. Something died here folks, look the other way.

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