Monday, June 13, 2016

How My Weekend Was, An Open Letter

Dear well-meaning and generally kind and supportive straight coworkers,

I am writing this once so I don't explode, because I know you don't mean anything by it and I have stared at two of you in disbelief already, which is not an appropriate response to a totally regular Monday morning question.


Here is how my weekend was.

Friday after work, I was tired, so my partner and I decided to I don't know something I can't remember where we ate or what we did there might have been some TV involved? Something. I don't know. Since then, 50 members of my family have been killed and another 53 injured, last I heard, so Friday seems like a long time ago.

Saturday, I spent most of the day at and getting ready for a Pride Family Picnic that the nonprofit I'm on the board of holds. I think it was great. I was in charge of grilling the hot dogs. I saw a bunch of people I love a lot, saw some new people. I brought Rice Krispies treats with Fruity Pebbles mixed in and called them "Pride Krispie Treats," but of course that was before someone shot more than 100 people in my wider community, so now that just seems stupid. But I think it was fun at the time, probably.

That evening, my partner and I drove down to my sister's place to join her extended family for my nephew's fifth birthday. On the way, I saw on Facebook that two friends from high school ran into each other at Boston Pride, so that's fun, and they posted about how I'd be jealous, which I was, a little. Then at my sister's, there was this really good beef that for some reason we may eat only on rice and not with any noodles — I didn't understand that part — and orange sherbet and presents — and a lot of talk about food safety, about whether it's OK to accept a meal from some stranger's home kitchen. I think it's probably as safe as anything. Who the hell knows what's safe? Someone shot up a sanctuary a few hours later. The beef and rice thing seems even more unintelligible, but it's probably the same amount of unintelligible that it was before.

We came home, tired, and went to bed when all 50 of those people were still alive. Some of them probably hadn't even gotten to Pulse yet.

Sunday when I woke up, my wider community was broken, devastated, but I didn't know it yet. I decided to skip church and I was very excited to go hang out with a group of (mostly straight) women with whom I planned to talk a lot about clothes. I planned to bring them Pride Krispie treats, too. First, I rallied a few of my very closest queer people (my partner and his roommate and his boyfriend) to go have breakfast at my favorite local diner, and we laughed and laughed like we always do at that diner, I think — it's a little hard to remember because there's been a family emergency.

I got home and worked on a puzzle a little before that Style School reunion, which I was so looking forward to, and then someone sent me a message on Facebook, and hearing the ping of that message is how I will mark the last moment I didn't know that 50 people were killed and 53 more injured in a night club that was also a sanctuary, on Latin night. It was unclear to me then as it is now whether that was a night for the Latinx community or a night of Latin music for mostly white people or a mix. Probably a mix.

And then I tried to do the puzzle a little more but I kept bursting into tears, and eventually it became clear that I was not equipped to deal with getting dressed in fancy clothes or talking to straight people or maybe talking to any people about anything at all or doing a puzzle or maybe even driving. So I didn't.

I tried to watch "The Office" for a while, because that's funny, and it sometimes worked a little, but each episode ends and then what are you supposed to do?

And I got a little mad at my partner, knowing I was being unfair while I was being mad, because he just lost 50 members of his family, too, and he wants to help me, but he doesn't know what I need, and I don't know what I need either, but whatever it is, he's not doing it. Turning back time, maybe? Making all the people less horrible? Being very close to me but not too close to me and never hinting that he needed some time and space to himself? Something like that, something impossible and unnameable. And eventually, I was frustrated and he had to make a phone call, so I got ready to leave and then go back to my own house, to leave the safe place that is his house, with other queers in it, for my own empty house.

And I stopped on my way out to talk to my sweet wonderful breakfast friends, and one of the first things we needed to discuss was who would be thrown under the bus. And I said, "Muslims," immediately, and I was right, but I stupidly forgot that there is this amorphous group called "the mentally ill," who always get thrown under the bus, and I should have mentioned them, too, and it never occurred to me to mention immigrants, because what do immigrants have to do with it? All of those are the people who get thrown under the bus when we get slaughtered in Florida. Apparently. What is the matter with the brakes on that bus?

And then I went home and, having decided that "The Office" wasn't going to work, watched a lot of "Sister Wives," which also didn't work. I watched "Sister Wives" when I got home at 3:30 and watched them still after I talked to my partner and told him I'd probably go to bed around 9:30 and watched them still when I was still awake at nearly 2:00.

All the distraction in the world doesn't make the most deadly shooting in U.S. history not have happened. And really, "Sister Wives" is hit-or-miss at distracting anyway.

I alternated, in that time, between devouring Facebook and avoiding it. I couldn't really sustain either one.

I slept fitfully from 2 until 6:47, and then I woke up and still didn't do the laundry I needed to do and somehow was still late to work, a little. I don't know why.

So, yeah.

That's how my weekend was. And if you are not careful, I will tell you so, even though you don't deserve it when really what you want to know is whether I will sign that form. Yeah, I can sign it. Seems good.

How was yours?



Calvin Rey said...

<3 <3 <3

mike said...

First of all, I love you. Second, pull quote to end all pull quotes: "Who the hell knows what's safe?"

bzzzzgrrrl said...

Calvin and Mike, love to both of you.