Entry 098 &/or Monday Night Before Thanksgiving or//Venus & Mars in Libra

by Sade Murphy

                                                                                    Oh man.

Latrine literally lately tree elixir row oh Samson Samoa same moping moped. To get home: south on Grand, east on
Putnam. If I feel good enough I’ll walk the whole way but it’s cold outside and I’m not dressed warm enough. A
gathering of men on the sidewalk typically makes me nervous because the men never address me directly but
deliberately take me in with their eyes like the cat watching birds from the window. Animals. The men are standing in
a hemisphere talking, one sees me and urges the others to make space for me to walk by. He addresses me as “child.”
Maybe that’s infantilizing or patriarchal but I feel like he actually saw me. I appreciate the mobility I inhabit in this city.
Everything hinges on practice. While I’m waiting for the bus to Greenpoint I witness an intoxicated man threatening
and intimidating the woman he is walking with and I don’t do anything. I put my phone in my pocket and board the bus
when it arrives. I’m so annoyed by how noisy the bus is. In the dark I’m confused and get off at the wrong stop. I think
about men.

L trri ilxr o samoep I’m walking home down Grand it’s so cold now i can’t stand it i’m trying to move quickly men are
standing on the sidewalk directly in my path one tells the others “make way for the queen yo” & then to me “hold your
head high child” and maybe it’s naïve to think that what he said had anything to do with me but the way he said it
didn’t sound like bullshit or game & sometimes it feels like I moved here so that i could learn how to walk [even
though i still don’t know how to apply eyeliner perfectly] later when i’m waiting for the bus a man and woman
are walking past & he begins to yell at her and threaten her & i freeze i freeze i’m not in my body i’m empty i’m swaying in
the cold air i’ve vanished i hope that i’m invisible he bumps into her and drops his can of beer he’s furious the words
slosh out of his mouth but the volume is high i have a phone in my hand but i’m not even in my body so it doesn’t
matter now i’m on the bus [some man is playing music on his cell phone & it’s annoying af] sometimes when i love
men it feels like i might have to betray myself like i might have to evade their grasp if they try to hold me too clumsily
if they try to climb into my hair i might have to shave my head and watch them break their necks or that isn’t what i
mean maybe i mean that there’s a clear difference between men who have harmed me and men that i love and i don’t
want to feel guilty or be shown that it was wrong to trust the men that i trust

Originally published in Dreginald (Issue 8, Summer 2016).

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