I learned to believe in freedom, to glow when the word democracy was used, and to practice slavery from morning to night. I learned it the way all of my Southern people learn it: by closing door after door until one's mind and heart and conscience are blocked off from each other and from reality.
Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, "disappeared," or run off the road at night. Our speaking out will irritate some people, get us called bitchy or hypersensitive, and disrupt some dinner parties. And then our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever.
It's interesting, isn't it? That you can find yourself feeling so awkward in unfamiliar surroundings that you become more self-aware and more self-conscious? Maybe that lack of connection to an unfamiliar place can actually give you freedom to open up and see yourself.
The only way I could describe what kissing him felt like was, like the last day of school, knowing that months of freedom and sunshine lay before you, the feeling that you could do anything you wanted and time stretched out in endless possibilities.