Fiction: Trouble

This is part of a story that I am working on.  It’s only the second draft so there is still a lot of work to be done but I have to get some distance from it in order to see how to fix it, so I am tossing it into the ether to see what to do next. 🙂

Trouble

Somehow, after all this time, she wasn’t sure that he was going to be waiting there when she climbed the stairs.

It was ridiculous in a way, there was no way for him to leave without coming down where she was, but still somehow she was never sure that he would be there.

Of course, there were many ways to leave without actually moving your body to a different place… it was possible to check out without moving at all.

She had had men like that before.  They looked at her blankly when she complained, unable to understand why she was annoyed.  They were right there with her, weren’t they?

Even though he had been there in all senses of the words ever since she had taken him home with her, she still didn’t trust it.

 

She still didn’t believe in always.

 

She was too much trouble for always. Sooner or later he would realize it, too, and then he would just take off.  She knew it.

 

She knew just how it would happen. She would think everything was fine but then he would grab his things, his clothes, his feelings, and pull them all away.

 

She tried to pick fights with him sometimes, just to try to have control of the time that he gave up on her. She hadn’t made it happen yet, no matter how ridiculous she acted but she wasn’t convinced that meant he was here to stay. She stayed braced for his exit, for him to back away.  She just always expected there to be trouble.

Because she was trouble.

 

That’s what they had always said about her: she caused a lot of trouble. She made everything more difficult. She wasn’t worth the hassle.

 

It was only a matter of time until he figured that out.

Trying to be the sage

As frustrations grow around me, I am working on being the sage from this Hafiz poem. I hope to have to duck my head soon.

For the prisoners

For the prisoners


The small man
Builds cages for everyone
He knows.
While the sage,
Who has to duck his head
When the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys all night long
For the
Beautiful
Rowdy
Prisoners.
– Hafiz

For my own amusement

I have often been accused of being ‘too serious’ and that may be the case when I am really trying to focus on something or when we are talking about a topic I am really passionate about.*

That, however, doesn’t stop me from laughing at myself on the regular.

For example, when I spend a chunk of one morning trying to create an image for the phrase ‘You don’t need a cape to be a superhero.’ I ended up with this and I immediately shared it on Instagram.

IMG_0447

As soon as I posted it, I realized that the cape looked like bacon. I have sent myself into fits of laughter about that at least 5 times since.

*And I way-over-the-top hate being misunderstood, so if you are teasing me about something and I feel like it is based on me not communicating effectively, it is going to be a challenge for me to let go and recognize that you are just giving me crap.

Roberta Bondar and Steel Nails

On January 22, 1992, astronaut Roberta Bondar became the first Canadian woman to go into space! Source: https://www.facebook.com/LibraryArchives/

On January 22, 1992, astronaut Roberta Bondar became the first Canadian woman to go into space!
Source: https://www.facebook.com/LibraryArchives/

Today is the 25th Anniversary of the day that Dr. Roberta Bondar became the first Canadian woman in space and when that information appeared in my Facebook feed this morning, it made me think of a story about her.

I was a session leader at an International Guide Camp in Guelph in the summer of 1993. Dr. Bondar held some honorary role with the camp, so, one night, she came to speak to us all.

I didn’t even really know who she was, aside from the fact that she was an astronaut. I was 21 years old, a bit caught up in my own personal quests and  while I was definitely all about equality, I’m not even sure if I described myself as a feminist at that point. So, while I thought it was cool that she had been in space, I don’t think I fully understood the obstacles she would have faced to get there.

Her speech was fantastic and left me feeling stirred and empowered, that much I know, but I don’t remember the specifics.

In fact the only detail I remember is that earlier in the week the local newspaper had published a ‘political’ cartoon featuring an image of the camp. One of the tents had a speech balloon over it with the phrase ‘Oooh! I broke a nail.’

We had been all furious of course. Seeing that stereotype, having our efforts diminished. Sure, we knew it had been intended as a joke, but every girl there knew about that type of joke – one that wasn’t intended to include us, one that wasn’t laughing with us, but one that was mocking our efforts, one that was intended to remind us of our place. We had felt those jokes before and we knew we were in for a lifetime of them.

Dr. Bondar got us all riled up on our own potential, our own power, and then she told us that she had seen the cartoon and that she was writing a letter to the paper. She said she was going to tell them that…

‘The only nails broken at this camp are made of steel, baby!’

My heart still thrills thinking of that moment.

Here was a powerful woman, an astronaut, a doctor and she wasn’t telling us we were being silly for being upset. She wasn’t telling us that we were overreacting. She was telling us that we were right, they were wrong and that she had our backs.

It resonates with me to this day and it’s one of the (many) reasons I make sure to tell young women that I see when they are being slighted and that I have their backs. I’m no Roberta Bondar, obviously, but I do what I can.

Thank you Dr. Bondar

, from my 21-year-old-self.

And, even more so, from my 44-year-old-self.

This is #WhyIMarch

I put on my power suit (my dobok) for my #WhyIMarch selfie. I can defend myself and I'll defend you, too. With words and with actions. Kiya! Virtual March for Woman's March on Washington #WMWCanada #womensmarch #sistersofthenorth #WMWYYT

I put on my power suit (my dobok) for my #WhyIMarch selfie.
I can defend myself and I’ll defend you, too. With words and with actions. Kiya!
Virtual March for Woman’s March on Washington #WMWCanada #womensmarch #sistersofthenorth #WMWYYT

Our March in NL became an online event because of blizzard conditions here today.

I have lots to say about how invigorating it was to see the Marches everywhere today, the sheer volume of people out to show hatred that it will NOT win. I’m still processing my thoughts though so, for now, I’ll just post:

  1. My photo for the online March.
  2. A link to the Women’s March on Washington: St. John’s
  3. A link to the Call to Action