In the four years that I’ve been working on Fallopian Falafel, I have gone through some of the best and some of the worse times in my life. From my stormy cyber-relationship with my ex, to the emotionally draining relationship with my other ex, to the intensive psychological therapy which then led me to my ultimate self-discovery, my zine has been with me. And with all the pain I’ve felt, and whatever grave I fell into, no matter how deep or dark, my zine was the thin but sturdy fishing line that pulled me out, even if I was wriggling up a fit in a desperate attempt to free myself from it and allowing the darkness to consume me.
Fallopian Falafel was somehow the only outlet my inner child could use to express how she really felt. I have neglected her for so long and unconsciously, the only reason I started and continued producing my zine was because it was the only language she knew. It was the only way she could speak her mind without fearing my retaliation or my suppression.
I’ve pushed her aside and shoved her into a corner so hard, because I thought that if I shut her up, I could secure anything and keep it forever – my parents’ approval and appreciation, my friends, my family, alternating and finding a balance between keeping my boyfriend of the time and my hate of love. However, it was by neglecting her and hurting her so much that all these things were pulled out from under me. I kept wondering “what is it I’m doing wrong?” She knew, but after suffering so much abuse, she internalized her role as the silent corpse that stirred every once in a while, rattling the heavy chains that held it down, and remained silent.
But as I moved to Israel, and especially to the Holy City, the spirit that I was possessed with somehow revived the inner child. She needed to speak. So I started Fallopian Falafel which would serve as her forum, her land to invade, divide, conquer, and do with it as she pleases, until I was ready to love her.
Of course, my three-year therapy helped a lot. Four-hundred NIS an hour is a small price to pay for the amazing discovery I made – first by acknowledging that the inner-child exists, and second, by realizing that she embodies everything I wanted to be and never allowed myself to expose, fearing the disapproval of all my peers. All my desires, my dreams, my needs, my feelings, my secrets, my pain and my power – she held them all in the palm of her hand, like a handful of poisoned candy. And all this time, I didn’t dare touch them.
Less than a year into my therapy, I was reveling in zine-production, and so was the inner-child. I protected her and her zine saved me a thousand times in return. I dreamt once that I even took a bullet for her.
My ex (who was the first person to design my zine covers) made me apologize for saying during an interview to Haaretz that feminism for me was a defense mechanism because “I had just gone through a really rough relationship with a guy who broke my heart.” He accused me of portraying him as a monster in a national paper. I said I did nothing of the sort. He did break my heart, he did hurt me… a lot. I was only saying what I experienced, and never said anything to the effect that the guy was atrocious or treated me like shit. And besides, I never said his name. Yet he still felt offended.
When I engaged him in conversation to explain to me what it was in what I said that hurt him so much, he simply said “Either you say what I want to hear (and it’s no more than two words) or I’ll never make your zine covers again.”
My choice was either risking losing the only voice my inner-child was left with, or suppressing her needs once again by apologizing to my ex for something I was totally not sorry for. The statement I made to Haaretz was exactly what I felt. It was accurate and honest, and if anyone had a problem with it, it’s no reason for me to apologize for it. But still, I was scared shitless of compromising my zine, and sent him back “I’m sorry.”
In fact, many times in the past I apologized for things I wasn’t responsible for, or for things I didn’t feel sorry about, or sometimes didn’t even know or understand what I was apologizing for. Most of the time I apologized because again, I was scared to lose what I was jeopardizing if I didn’t apologize.
Once, when my ex and I were cybering, he said “I’m going to rape you.” Now, that is deserving of the description “monster.” Very quietly, I put my clothes back on and told him “Don’t ever say that to me again.” In turn, he got angry at me (yes, he got angry at me), and I felt so horrible for pissing him off that I apologized ad nauseam (yes, I apologized to him).
Luckily, some time later, I found another graphic designer for my zine covers, a Toronto grrrl, with a metalhead, grungy, DIY twist to her productions which suited my style perfectly.
Since then, I adopted Brian Kinny’s motto “No apologies, no regrets.” I stopped apologizing. I no longer regretted anything. I let my inner-child invade me, divide and conquer me, and do with me as she pleases. She wreaked havoc on my body, decorating me with tattoos, piercings, and spiritual measles brought on by an extremely high exposure to Riot Grrrl radiation and grrrlVIRUS germs.
Fallopian Falafel saw me through all of this and I went from being buried in the dark confines of other people’s shadows, where my being was obliviated, to being reborn as a proud Zionist, Zinester, Writer, Israeli, Jewess, Punk, Metalhead, which is who I really am, and who my inner-child is.
I see her now as the smarter part of me. She knows me much better than I know myself. She knows what’s best for me and doesn’t compromise any part of herself for anyone else. She brings out the beauty in me, inside and out.
This is all thanks to my zine. And now that my inner-child is in control, the zine has served its purpose, and it is time for us to move on. Onto bigger projects! The book I am currently writing will detail all these events in a more elaborate, and hopefully less cryptic, way.
Fallopian Falafel, may you rest in peace.
Peace, love and devious divinity.