We are born in pain, all of us. When that first breath of oxygen touches our lungs and it tastes of fire in our bodies, it is then we are known to be alive – screaming our indignation that this is the life we've been brought into, that this is how the world will greet us. With suffering. I was no different, whimpering softly, stunned at the sensation in my infant body, wondering why it must be that my entrance to this life hurt. It was only appropriate, then, that my birth as a god was through agony.
Sometimes, when walking home after dark, I'd play this scenario through in my head. I was raised to believe I'd be attacked by men. I knew how I kept the mace in the front pocket of my purse, although I'd been too timid to take the lid off and figure out how to actually use it. I was reckless in my disregard, knowing full well what I'd been taught growing up, and then discarding it the next moments with only the outside illusion of playing by the rules. Instead, I saw in my head what