We take the uterus for granted. It is a strange and alien thing - nestled in the dark and beginning its existence with a precise estimation of eggs, hypnotizing countless men in the seductive flower at its base, bloodying in the purge of an egg once a month over a select period of years, holding fast and swollen through pregnancy, keeping a lubricated time, shutting down as all things shut down but giving off dramatic bands of heat in its inevitable meltdown, dying dry and quietly in the black cavity it governs.
I will sometimes impersonate a uterus in mixed company. I do this to celebrate the absurdity of our collective normalization of such a wildly foreign organ system (admitting during the impersonation that all organ systems, if analyzed individually and impersonated in public, are deeply and wonderfully alien). I do this also for the given audience’s awkward discomfort in selecting and mimicking such a prized and otherwise hushed organ collection as that delivered by the female reproductive system (the uterus being a broader label for the entire assembly - which includes the uterus cavity itself, the fallopian tubes, the ovaries, the cervix, the vagina, the labium minus, etc.).
This impersonation is an important presentation. It is only as abstract as the uterus is abstract. Delivering this impersonation is as unconditional as taking it in; one is committed to the narrative as one is to receiving the narrative - just as in intercourse. It is intimate and it is not forced. It is welcomed through a soft introduction (“have you ever seen my impersonation of a uterus?”) and it is then set loose if there are no open objections.
The uterus impersonation is based on the pink forward-facing diagrams we were all introduced in junior high school. The many anatomical renditions that have conditioned our introductions to biological systems have put forward a remote vision of the things residing inside our bodies, and they are to be respected as profound pieces of art that likely deserve gallery wall space.
The impersonation begins with a scarecrow stance.
Both arms are extended out to the sides at shoulder height with both hands drooped downward, held aloft at the wrists and meek. It is important that the fingers are left to dangle in the pull of gravity. The arms and fingers represent the fallopian tubes, and one is to imagine that below the fingers - although not held by them - are the ovaries.
The legs are kept together, as they form the vagina. And the feet are also kept together, as they are the labium minus. Imagine the soles of the shoes as the only elements witnessed on occasion by the outside world, as the magical tucks of flesh that have launched wars and set poetry in motion. Everything above the soles of the shoes lives its full existence in absolute darkness.
The torso is as it is, acting in the trunk of itself as the uterus and cervix. Health, as it is in life, is dependent on one’s body shape - and nothing is more true than when considering this impersonation. In order to complete the initial presentation of this impersonation, and to establish a truism as all quality performance art does, the head should be bowed chin to chest. This is suggested because the uterus does not have a head.
The scarecrow moves the fingers of one hand, illustrating the release of one egg from one ovary. The fallopian tubes may not actually do this, but this movement is recommended for performance reasons and to establish an important connection with the audience, most of whom are unaccustomed to an impersonation of this nature.
The selected egg then travels through the arm until it reaches the torso. Once it is within the torso, the trunk of the impersonator distributes a twitch. This is the bloody purge of the uterine wall sheering off - which should be reflected upon as an incredibly alien and violent act.
The twitch in the torso is followed momentarily by a wobbling twitch in the legs, as the vagina expels the debris from torn down walls that the uterus and cervix had first cast out through the drainage that this coordinated organ collection has inspired. The leg-wobble in truth is a poetic license, and the audience should be made to understand this - as some degree of alarm may otherwise settle in.
This is the basis of the impersonation. There are other off-shoot versions that include pregnancy and intercourse and jogging, but these can be explored only after the audience has accepted the first impersonation as a truth worth exploring further. With this acceptance in hand, any number of directions and interests can be explored - including moving on to other organ systems.
But that is a different matter.