To the both of you:
You both stood there leaning against the case after class, two men who loomed large in my life. I hovered along the edge as I do, while you bantered, like you do. I was enamored with your strength, your height, your mass, and your lack of self-doubt. And then you made a joke that I’d never heard before but surely you both had heard so many times, you laughed like all the old boys do. The ones with no self-doubt. It blew my mind.
I’ll say now what I didn’t say then: You cannot attack the body of a woman and then pretend that you do not hate all that a woman stands for. Everyone loves a woman “in her place” (the place that men have placed her for safekeeping). That’s not worth talking about. Let the record show now, do you love a woman in her place: her body, her nature, that which is outside of your control or your ken… even if she scares you?
I ask this question now, from this distance of space and time, because back then you always thought that I was so adorable when I was angry. I am small, and in the end we all must admit that I was not worth much weight in your eyes. Much like that joke that you told each other in your back-slapping camraderie. I’m taking the only kind of weight that I can, the weight of distance, words on page where I control the narrative, where your superior height and depth of voice can’t drown out my own.
Where you aren’t even listening at all.
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