I met you today on the corner of Polk and Turk. You stopped to wait at the same light, and as the seconds counted down you turned towards me, smiled, and asked how my morning was. I realized you had said something, took my headphones out, and replied: “I’m having a great morning, thanks for asking. How are you?”
“I’m alright I’m alright, sun’s back. It’s easier on the wheels.” You were in an electric wheel chair, a grey shirt, and black pants.
“Yeah, it’s a really beautiful day.” The light changed and as I began walking you asked my name. I told you, and asked yours. Before you had finished the last syllable, you asked if I would marry you. I chuckled and said, “sorry I can’t do that.” (Why are we always apologizing?)
“Im 59 years old and I need help. Marry me.” Suddenly your words had become harsh, and I picked up my pace. I looked back and gave a smile, hoping that would subdue the situation. You began moving towards me faster, saying my name over and over. I was immediately taken aback, and quickly scanned my surroundings.
You continued to scream my name with hate and anger. In fact I don’t know if I have ever heard my name in such a tone. I was scared. You began moving faster at me, I assume kicking up the speed notch on your chair, “marry me you fucking bitch, BRITTANY. BRITTANY MARRY ME.”
For one moment I retreated above my current situation and looked at it from the outside. From a different perspective one could find the situation “lighthearted.” Here were these two strangers, and one was following another in a wheelchair begging her to marry him. It didn’t need to feel aggressivee or violent, but it was. His tone, the look on this face, the way he spat out the word bitch like I had done something incomprehensible to him.
My interaction with you lasted all of forty five seconds.
Forty five seconds and 28 years.
You’re so vain, you think every second is about you.
I met you about two years ago at a bar. You told me you had read the book I was reading, and took the stool right next to mine. I was reading “The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory” and immediately rolled my eyes: bull shit. (I realize I was being judgmental, give me good reason not too)
I told you I didn’t believe you. You played along for about two minutes, and after three or four questions about the main argument, you laughed and said, “jeez I just wanted to talk to you, why be so rude?”
“I am actually not being rude at all, this is a pretty typical conversation: someone says they have read something, it’s natural and even polite to ask them about it….” You said nothing and after a minute of silence, asked if I wanted a drink. I declined, and you scoffed.
“Clearly you are here reading because you are waiting for someone to come talk to you, that’s me. I would love to talk to you and take you out and buy you books. No matter how ridiculous they seem.”
“I’m actually perfectly content sitting here alone, and I have no interest. But thanks.” (sidebar: why the fuck did I feel the need to thank you. Why are we so engrained to be creatures of politeness and grace in the face of you assholes?)
You looked me dead in the eye, kneeled in closer and said: “Maybe if you let a guy like me take you out once in awhile, or buy you a drink, you wouldn’t sit alone reading. Babe I could make you feel so good, you would never say no to me again.”
It is no longer shocking when I have these interactions with you.
Again I declined, more polite than I wish I had, and told you I just wanted to read but have a good night. You paid for your drink, began to turn away, but before leaving the stool told me I was not even that pretty, and so I shouldn’t be such a cunt. You said I had no idea what I was missing out on, and that angry girls will die alone.
You’re so vain, you think we would rather die with you.
I dated you years ago, when I was still quite naive.
I didn’t really like sleeping with you. In fact the act of having you inside me was my least favorite part of being together. And yet, I wanted to spend time with you, so I pretended otherwise.
Even though I liked and “trusted” you I pretended or remained silent about the fact that sex with you was awful. I had a narrative built into both my mental and physical being which stated: to keep you, or even to be with you sexually, I had to pretend that I was enjoying myself, so that you would then enjoy yourself. I basically acted like the sex was great, so as make it end sooner.
After experiencing this four or five times the guilt set in. This wasn’t okay. If I truly liked you, I should tell you that the sex wasn’t working for me. I should be honest both for the sake of my voice and body.
You said you always got girls off. I told you that a lot of girls pretend to orgasm. You argued no way, not the girls you had been with. I said I had pretended various times. You responded that was crazy and I must be the only one. You chalked it up to the fact that I must not like sex.
You’re so vain, you probably think sex is all about you.
On March 7th, I sat next to you outside of a cafe. Girls near us were discussing International Women’s Day/A Day Without A Woman. They were making plans to meet up, wear red, and try to get their shifts covered. There were three of you, lets call you Cis Joe 1, 2, and 3. Cis Joe 3 asked 1 and 2 what they were talking about, and thought it was stupid, “a day without a woman? What are they even protesting? No one wants women to be gone. Who would we sleep with?”
Cis Joes all laughed. I shuddered and was rather shocked to discover boys like this, so openly displaying their ignorance and *charm*. On the same streets that I walk? At the cafe where I read? I guess I forgot these fuckboys still existed in our “sanctuary city.”
“Well they are probably protesting Trump and planned parenthood.” I exhaled. At least Cis Joe 1 had some sense of the current climate.
“Well, I hate Trump too, doesn’t mean we need an International Man’s Day.”
You’re so vain, you don’t realize every day is about you.
You walked into the White House
like you were walking onto a yacht,
Your hair strategically combed over one side,
Your skin, it was apricot.
You had one eye in the mirror,
As you watched yourself gavotte.
And all the girls dreamed that you’d been aborted,
You’d been aborted, and
You’re so vain,
You probably think today is about you.
You’re so vain,
I’ll bet you think today is about you.