Quoth the Masochist: “How Did You Get that Bruise?”

    People sometimes inquire as to how I get the bruises on my skin.  I do not find the questions rude or intrusive because woman-beating (I refuse to call it by its euphemism, ‘domestic violence’) is a serious problem in society, and so I think it is a good thing when people want to know how a woman was injured.  


    The number and severity of my bruises depends, of course, on how frequently I have had the good fortune to be played with (for the last few weeks, it has been ZERO, and I am going insane, thank you very much).  Most of the fun-time marks are hidden by my clothing anyway. I also get bruised because  I am clumsy and constantly knocking into things at the gym or in my apartment.  I seriously think that my coffee table may well be the death of me one of these days (imagine the obituary: “DEATH BY COFFEE TABLE.” How dignified).  I’m also fair-skinned (my ancestors did not exactly hail from the sunshine capitals of Europe), so that doesn’t help, either.  


     Don’t get the wrong idea, gentle reader, it’s not as if I look like a car-crash victim as I run about town (most of time, at least).  I don’t look beat up. I just have, usually, a random ding here or there.  Usually one on my legs (that coffee table.  I’m telling you.).  


   Anyway, this essay has a point, so let me get to it (as I always told my freshman students, repeatedly, in caps,  on their syllabus: “YOUR PAPER SHOULD HAVE A POINT.”).  A student, a friend, a random dude chatting me up on the train–they ask: “How’d you get that mark on your leg? Ouch!”  Okay, fine, understandable.  


    What boggles my mind, though, is when a masochist, a real player, comes into the studio and wants me to land on him like a ton of bricks, and then asks me, in all sincerity: “How did you get that bruise on your thigh?”


    This happens all the time. All.The.Time.  It’s a real head-scratcher.  


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