My friend Jessie’s mouth will start watering at the sight of this photo. She loves shoes. Lives for shoes. So when beautiful, glorious, designer shoes were brought to my home for the Marie Claire photo shoot, I had this photo taken for her (my friend Tammi is a great photographer and spent the day with me). I knew, just on sight, that none of them would fit my size 11 feet. It made me a little sad because when would I ever have the chance to wear such funky shoes? But it was a familiar feeling because my entire life, I have had a terrible time finding shoes that fit. I can still, to this day, walk down 34th Street and be denied by just about every shoe store. But that’s ok. And here’s why: The shoes in the photo remind me of my big feet, which remind me of my big, athletic frame with its non-Barbie proportions, which makes me think of all the years I spent despising the limitations they placed on me fashionwise.
The night of the attack, my body did amazing things for me. It pumped adrenaline into my veins and muscles which made me feel little to no pain and as if I had the strength of 10 women. It gave me a crystal clear mind and the ability to recall the most minute of details. Those big feet and strong legs helped me keep my balance and carried me to safety. I am still amazed at the beating it took but also how I was then able to endure 10 hours of police questoning without sleep or treatment for my wounds (I was awake 40 hours straight) and stay sharp. Lastly, and best, my body healed the surface wounds (cuts and scrapes) more quickly than I can ever recall healing from such things as if it was all too eager to rid me of the evidence of Marco’s touch.
A body is an amazing, beautiful machine. I regret all the time I spent wishing it were different. And I try to be kinder to it. I have three scars from that night and I am ok with that. A body is a living record of one’s experiences, and those are three of my most cherished entries.
QUOTE: “Pretty women wonder where my secret lies, I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size, But when I start to tell them, They think I’m telling lies, I say, It’s in the reach of my arms, The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips…” – American poet, Maya Angelou, Phenomenal Woman.