Karen

You can see Homa Hynes perform this at Mariah McCarthy’s Pussyfest. Joria Studios. Feb. 9th or 10th, 2013

Karen
For Pussyfest. By Libby Emmons

Karen is on the stage. Talking to Sarah. Talking to the crowd.

This is my private life.
I live my private life here in public.
It’s warm here, with you here. And I feel like maybe my own identity is just as manufactured. My own identity is over-wrought. It’s all consuming to cultivate an identity that appears to be the true revealed you.
Hey Sarah?
Did you go?
You can’t just keep being mad at me.
Can I get someone else to do this?
I’ve been having trouble feeling things lately. It’s like I cut off my own personal access to actual deep feelings. When I start to get emotional I like, I like switch. I abdicate my emotional self. For the next part of my life I’m not doing that.
I’m not gonna feel things anymore.
It feels better saying it. I’m not gonna feel things anymore.
I’m not telling you this because I love you.
Horrible things happen to people all the time. Truly horrible things. All my horrible things– I’m not a victim, I am responsible for myself, no one did things to me, anything that has happened in my life I have allowed to happen. It has been mine. I own these things. I can make up lots of reasons why the things I did were only in response to, were in fact the only options, but I know now, I know they were my choice.
Things about babies aren’t meaningful because they are things about babies, things about babies are meaningful because all life is meaningful and the opportunity for meaning begins at birth, that’s why things about babies are meaningful, they’re not just pink and soft and big smiles and bliss and everything, there’s more than that. It’s cliche to talk about babies, I’m a woman, I’m standing here talking about babies, don’t judge me for that.
What is your responsibility for that which you bring into the world?
Sarah don’t hate me. It’s a real question. I couldn’t know, don’t judge me. They said the baby wasn’t gonna make it, they just whisked it away to some sterile room, I couldn’t know. I didn’t have to see it to know it wasn’t gonna make it. I knew something was wrong even before. I knew in that way you know when the end of the month is coming up and you’re short on rent but you don’t know in your every waking minute know because then you might as well just take your wok and flee in the night. I didn’t have to see his face to know. What good would it have done to look at the little dying thing, like starving children on charity commercials, Just Change the Channel. I could get over it easier if I didn’t see his face. Avoid the pain. Doesn’t do him any good, me feeling all that, grief, he’s dead, what does he need my grief for? I couldn’t have done anything for him in the little bit of time he was alive, what use is that? He needed doctors.
Me sitting there half cut open crying over a dying thing? To show him that kind of pain for his only experience of life, why would that be better? The only difference it would have made is I would have held him, that’s all. I would have held him and maybe just loved him. Even just for a minute.

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