There are days when I want to shut off my emotions, to feel nothing but the softness of my exhale. Days when I want to hide inside the quiet places of a noisy city and watch walkers from the window. Assign my struggles to strangers in order to validate their existence. But also to shake them out of my skin. Nothing more humbling than to think of worlds that exist without you. Stories in which you play no part in, except for brief cameos such as “girl in cafe window” or “woman on the J train”. No better place to hide from yourself than in a city filled with extras. .
(A stranger took this picture of me when I treated myself to a walk across the Brooklyn bridge. I wonder if he thought about the world I live in. About the things that make me cry, or how happy I feel dancing on subway platforms. Maybe not, but I’m thankful for his guest appearance. A part of my story exists bc of him.)
Last night a man called me a tease because I refused to dance with him. Told me I was cake on a shelf that wasn’t for sale. A hundred dollars glued to the ground, impossible to pick up. Well, Sir, if the only way you make money is by forcefully scraping it up from the pavement, then perhaps it is not my fault that you are broke. My body is not your ground to walk on. There are no pot holes to fill, no lose change for you to grab. My hips are water, not concrete. And you knew that, which is why you approached me with an empty cup, but it is not my responsibility to quench your thirst. There is tap water at the bar and rain water in the drains. Both free and don’t require my attention. I figure you’re familiar with the drains, right All that time spent peeling money off the sidewalk. All that time spent chasing after things that are running away. I don’t have to stand still for you. I don’t have to dance for you either.
For years I was ashamed of the bend of my back, the switch of my hips, and the roll of my waist. So afraid to be revealed that I let my water turn to ice, and scoffed at those who were foolish enough to melt in front of others. A glacier that hid beneath the surface until I realized that you cannot freeze an ocean. You cannot tame one either. So don’t approach me with your respectability politics, or your dry ass tongue, asking me to evaporate for your comfort. My hips are water. They make waves in every room they enter, but unless I crash upon your shore, don’t swim in my direction.