Tag Archives: menstruation

The Red Zone: A Love Story

Illustration by Kjell Reigstad (robodread/Getty)

Chloe Caldwell | Longreads | December 2017 | 26 minutes (6,433 words)

The first outburst was about my landlady; the outbursts are always about a woman. My landlady had sent me a text message with a couple of aggressive exclamation points and capitalizations referring to a misunderstanding over a National Grid bill, and I ended up enraged and screaming for roughly forty-five minutes. My partner was at the ocean on Fire Island, completely blissed out. He’d been swimming and laughing in the waves of the ocean, he later told me. Then I called. Our conversation:

“I just want you to agree with me that she’s a bitch,” I said.

“I am agreeing with you,” he replied.

“No, you’re appeasing me.”

This went on and escalated for fifteen minutes until:

Jesus Christ, Chloe, what does your heart need?”

“I need you to agree with me.”

“I am agreeing with you. “

“No you aren’t, not wholeheartedly.”

It didn’t stop there. After we got off the phone I had to bring it back up over text, and I had to bring it up the day after that, too. I brought it up again and again, until I got my period, and began bleeding, and that’s when I could see the humor.

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