I’ve been noticing a pattern in the past month that I’ve either ignored all my life, or with time just decided to expose itself. Probably a bit of both. People are very comfortable around me, people and people’s time.
In the past month, I’ve had two close friends tell me they’ve been raped, and another has been but is in denial. I’ve not only realized that this happens so much to women and we just silence ourselves. It’s so fucking disgusting, the whole rape culture. We go about our day to day on a rape schedule, always looking behind our shoulder when walking alone, waling faster if someone is behind us, locking our car doors when we get in. Its this incredibly inferior cycle that we are put in, and we are trained to be in. And i’m down right tired of it, and tired of hearing that such wonderful people have experienced such a harsh and fucked up reality. End venting. But really….
Also, people’s time. Time as if it’s its own being. We all have it, we all waste it, take it for granted and forget it exists. And then suddenly it’s gone, and we remember the good times and long for them. I’ve seen 4 people dead, not die, but dead. I’ve instinctually knew 3 people weren’t going to last much longer, before reality made that true. I feel like if there is a God, he knows I can handle losing people to death. Multiple people. And I can handle foreseeing such a thing. Some people may call me crazy, and yeah, I can be. But with this? No, I’m positive. The crazy thing is I don’t know I’m sensing it until it happens, then all of these feelings and clues come rushing back to me, knocking me over with how freaking obvious they were.
Anyway, I’m soon to lose someone else. And although we weren’t extremely close, we quickly connected. What can I say? That Cali-swag! She’s a badass, one of my past professors. I pretty much took my entire minor by just taking her classes. Maybe 3 years ago, she came down with breast cancer that had already spread to her lungs when they caught it. Now it’s in her brain. And now she’s on hospice. Time I took for granted and can never have back, but time I knew deep down was precious and limited from the second we met and clicked.
Before she had found out, she was always sick and canceling class. All the students in her classes were tired of not getting their money’s worth, and tired of not hearing her awesome lectures. So of course, being the blunt, to the point person that I am, I emailed her telling her to come back. She said thank you, I know, see you monday. And from then on she barely missed a class. A few weeks later she informed the class she had cancer, and she looked straight at me. My heart dropped to the floor and I could barely breathe. I saw it in her from the beginning, something that made me uneasy about her, like it usually happens. I get this uneasy, irking feeling that goes away the second I know for sure what I feeling wasn’t crazy.But I felt so incredibly connected at the same time. She wasn’t looking at me to make me feel guilt for giving her a hard time, she did it as a thank you. And from then on we had an unsaid understanding that I appreciated her teaching, and that her teaching was the only sense of normalcy and sanity for her. We quickly learned that neither of us like bullshitting, “get to the point and don’t waste our time” types. She required a 24 page paper once…I wrote 12, skipped class to finish writing it, ran into her on the way up to her office in the elevator, and nervously and quickly handed it to her as I was leaving the elevator and she was getting in. Not spell-checked, not 24 pages. I got an A. My friend who wrote 24 pages, and most likely flawless in grammar, she got a C.
I also learned that California still has our hearts, and this retched small midwestern town was a bitter sweet black hole. She also taught me resilience, and to give myself more worth. If I don’t, no one else will. And her teaching in the class room, man. She taught me more than art history, but taught me to critically question EVERYTHING I see. Absolutely everything. Her voice and advocacy for women’s rights and equality continues to ring in my head, especially when my fellow strong women are feeling down. And when all of these strong women in my life are coming to me with heartbreaking stories about stupid men and rape.
And she was ringing in my head tonight, during our groups ladies night. about 13 of us all went out for drinks at an open mic, sang and read poetry. We talked and reminded each other that we’re not crazy, just too nice sometimes. And all these women, strong women around me. For all the shit we put up with, for all of it left unsaid. We are all the best badasses to walk this earth. Seriously. But I do have to say, how emotionally exhausting it all is. So exhausting.