My celebrated butt. I take it as a gift, a windfall. I've done nothing to earn the encomiums. It is mildly humorous to be congratulated for something I didn't work for and can't see, stuck on the back of me. It is like when I am walking my dog and someone says, what a beautiful dog. Do I say thank you, as if he had complimented my dress, or yes, she certainly is, as if he had complimented my best friend? I have a beautiful dog. I like her too. Thank you very much.
  Walking home from school at seven, I watched the masses of flesh shift in the woman's butt ahead of me, wondering whether women really did wiggle their hips when they walked, which I thought was dumb, and if so, whether the woman in front of me was "wiggling her hips" on purpose, or whether her hips were just wiggling, as anyone's would, from the weight swinging back and forth. I wouldn't wiggle my hips if I could help it, and I'd rather have no hips to wiggle. Genetics has sided with me on that prejudice.  
  But drawing is an antidote to judgement: skin pulled over bone is beautiful, so is bulge and sag. At one time or another, learning to draw, I have been obsessed with every part of the human body. The butt is no exception. With a sharp pencil I incise an arc into the paper to mark the crease where the mass of the buttock wedges into the back of the thigh. The fat swells on both sides of the crease, then smooths off down into the back of the thigh. If I smudge the whole area, I can take an eraser and slather the top of the buttocks with light, wrap a faint shimmer of reflected light around the undersides, run a little gleam down the curve of the tailbone. Could I mistake this doting attention for disinterested curiosity? Drawing is almost sex.