This is the Sense:Worship!

We only have weekends together

because that is the time we believe allowed for us to have sex

to become familiar again

yeah we have during the wee hours, between 8pm and 12am, during the week’s hours

and the minutes we spend talking to each other, through the visceral space of nothing

we could spend that time typing a memo, haunting a bait 

so as to secure our membership towards the work force, and wait for something secure

it rents with worry, and the food, we feel guilty eating, the clothing we dream dressing into 

when the season changes it’s no inconsequence at all

but, together at last…

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Hypnotized

smoking too much on a promise…

drinking too much on a rhyme

pulsating on broken associations

looping on the first dulled shock

shattered into millions of misdirected dulled messages

aligthing unresolved triggers, ablazed

breathing a familar piece, a place

that touches on knowing too much

smelling the same sentiment

presenting incomplete, repeatedly

seeing the same kaleidoscopic sky

clapping the same kinetic wave

colliding with monstrous visions

I knock myself unconsicous

To Be Yourself?

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’ve been thinking about these bathroom incidents quite a lot, since, even before I understood what my undergrad Spanish professor meant when she asked me what sex I was.  I began thinking about it long before her awkard imposition.  I thought about it, not in the bathroom, but while I was filling out an awkward form, and I stumbled upon what box I should put an X against.   I was fourteen.

But lately, I’ve been thinking about how I could lessen the awkward introductions in the bathroom.  Awkward and jolting, a problem if only I would decide where my queer life could possibly project towards: should I finally decide to be feminine and wear some makeup, some accessories, should I become a man and have a sex change?  A direction, we’re all certain of.  Certainly, I won’t have people questioning my gender or insisting on where I should or shouldn’t be.  It would be clear cut, defined, no gray area to fear.  Especially in the bathroom, I can puke all this up in peace.  Because that’s all anyone wants when they take a piss, peace.

I am black, I am a black woman.  I am a black woman from the Caribbean, I am a black woman from the Caribbean, I am a black, Caribbean, gay, lesbian, queer, bisexual, transgendered…  My rights as a human being; a consenting, existing human being has nothing to do with your bible, or what you foresee as your economic growth.  Your imagined entitlement!

And if yours and mine, Republican or Democrat, our leaders, that are so afraid of speaking the truth, so afraid of what it would cost their utopian display of a plastic image, a glass life that easily shatters after the first year that either one of them are in office, they don’t have to imagine for me: I am not afraid.  I’m not afraid of votes, battalions, or guns!

Bathroom Incident #5

It happened again. I went to the bathroom at my job, and this woman who I’ve seen around the office for as long as I’ve been working at this organization (5 years), questioned my place in the women’s bathroom. I’m quite sure that today wasn’t the first time that she’s seen me around, and even though the organization has been growing rapidly, and yes there’s always a new face every week, you would have to try really hard not to notice me for five years.

Anyway, bathroom incident #5 occured today at 10:00am.  I was combing my afro as she was coming in the bathroom, and she did a double take, to make sure that she was in the correct bathroom, then satisfied that yes, it is indeed the women’s bathroom, she asked, “Are you sure you are in the right place?” I was pretty much expecting her to say something after she did a double take, so I asked her, “Are you sure, you’re in the right place?” No response.

Mind you, there’s probably less than 40 people on my floor and the bathrooms are not open to the public. If you’re a visitor, you’d have to go through the receptionist first to even gain access into any of the offices. Basically, it’s very unlikely that I was a confused stranger using the bathrooms. And again, I have been working at this organization for 5 years. I’ve seen this woman around and she has seen me.

Bathroom Incident # 4 occurred last week Monday.  This guy, who I’m 100% certain has seen me around, because we’ve been on the elevator together, I’ve said hello to him and he has said hello to me. So really when I was walking into the women’s, and he was like, “That’s the women’s bathroom,” twice, he doesn’t have an excuse (at this point no one does) because he heard my voice, and quite frankly you’re just a complete dumbass if you’re still confused about my sex/gender after listening to my voice. You would be at least cautious of making any judgments aloud, and thus making a fool of yourself.

Bathroom Incident # 3 occurred in 2005.  The following remark was made when I entered the bathroom, “Now I know why this bathroom feels so masculine,” she said looking straight at me. There aren’t any urinals in the women’s bathroom at my job.  The lighting is state of the art in the bathroom.  However, it’s very cool in the women’s bathroom at my job, and at times “feels” to me pretty sterile. So maybe that was her reasoning behind those words, because I really don’t see how me using the women’s bathroom has suddenly changed the “feel” of it. Under my buttoned down skirt, I have breasts, and beneath my slacks and my underwear, is my pussy.

Bathroom Incident # 2 occurred in 2004. “This is the women’s bathroom. You’re in the women’s bathroom.” I said, “Do you want to come in here with me to check, to make sure?” No response.

Bathroom Incident # 1 occurred in 2003. Combatively, she said over and over again, “You are in the wrong place… You should know better than to use the women’s bathroom. You’re in the wrong place.” I was in complete shock, I didn’t know what to say to her, because I had only been working at the job for at most 3 months.

I work for a successful non-profit arts organization. Even though the workforce is fairly large for a non-profit, it’s not like a big conglomerate where you don’t know (at least by face) a fellow employee. You’d see each other on the elevator, at parties, at all staff meetings, etc. And since, I’ve been working there for the length of time mentioned above, I’m deeply disturbed and disappointed by all of this. Like everyone working full-time, I spend nearly all of my life at this job, and so I should never have to feel this way every time I use the bathroom.  No one should feel like this.

I’ve written about this issue before.  And I’m sure I’ll be writing about it again.