Five Points, Vol. 19, no. 2Summer 2019
"I’ve always kept one foot out of the academy. This has always been a conscious act on my part. Physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally. I refuse to let the academy have me in any kind of whole way."
A Heartless Child
Our hands in the room Duchenne, the room Bouvier, the room Requin; our legs in the room Leguin, the room Rayer, the Passage Lepic; our heads in the room Cruvellier and the room Pruss; our bodies on a platform like a stage set in rooms, who knows where or which. In the hospital, there were endless photographs of us. The photographs taken when we first arrived (here, is someone) were different from the ones taken ever after (here, what she became). The ever after photographs with the doctor’s best girls making shapes that spell hysteria (arc en cercle or some other grand movement, ecstasy or some other passionate attitude) were hung in the hospital corridors, in the passageways that lead to the photography annex, to the school where we learned grammar, history, geography, and sums, and to the gymnasium where we learned to bend and not to break, and to the library where those of us who were able to read borrowed books, and in the amphitheater where those best girls make the shapes, and in the offices of the doctors who thought the best girls how to make the shapes. In. the photographs taken when we first arrived, we did not yet know how to write the illness with the jumble of our bodies. Some of us never learned….