Now, I did not want to write this, but I woke up today, remembered how the entire thing had transpired and I was as angry as I was when it happened. This anger saw the sun set and rise, and may well see many years of such.
Lately, there has been a lot of talk about femininity, hegemonic masculinity, entitlement, objectification and many other such big words. These things wear me out. My body somaticizes the disturbance it brings to my system and either I go down with some kind of a headache or palpitations, or it even triggers my stomach to produces excess HCl. It is really worrying.
What is even more upsetting is the fact that after so many years of various kinds of movements that have attempted to level the terrain of what we largely call gender (which somehow glaringly connotes only half of the traditional dyadic genders- women), there seems to be no end in sight. And somehow, I feel the light is much much further ahead for religious people. I am exhausted just thinking of this already and my stomach has started burning from the increasing level of HCl.
Let me put this into perspective by narrating the incident. Now that I look back, I think I should have made a scene, ahh!
It was a little past 7 pm on Monday. I had gone to meet up with a friend in front of the Balme fountain to make certain arrangements for stuff we were working on together. Mark, I was already in the ‘put-off mood’ when I was returning because I was taking stock of all what I should have done but hadn’t even got around to starting. I like my space, especially the one in my head and I do not like it one tiny little bit when it is intruded, especially by strangers. The very instant that some stray soul intrudes, my whole personal universe begins to see you in an entirely negative light by default because I feel that your spirit is not sensitive to my standing state that screams, ‘No disturbance!’.
I had walked successfully with every person respecting this “keep off” until I reached the steps that spread widely in front of the hall. After climbing the first two, I heard coming from my right that very persistent and annoyingly familiar “excuse me!” Somehow, I knew I was the person who was being asked to excuse whoever, but I did not stop or turn in that direction until the 4th call. I looked in that direction, and that was about all the acknowledgment I was prepared to give and kept climbing. I was not disappointed when this boy/man called again and added, “I want to talk to you”.
Now see, I am very sensitive to selfishness. Generally, I believe that everything we do is driven by some level of selfishness. Some are in healthy proportions and others are not. I feel that because for many centuries, acts driven by an unhealthy amount of misplaced selfishness have been (according to prevailing norms of bad and good) very bad, the good virtue of selfishness, which I believe birthed selflessness, has been tagged with bad and evil. Believe me, you need selfishness to do everything, even to love. Yeah, yeah, you may differ, but that only means that you need more time to think about this. Even so, you need not agree with my philosophy of selfishness, you may just get too conscious of yourself and everyone else around you. I may probably dedicate a post to it. But let me get on with this.
So this guy, with two other people, one of them a girl from my hall, and another guy (who is also a stranger) sit on the slab under the frangipani that is in bloom and says, “I want to talk to you”.
For a flashing second, I was taken aback. I did not know people still did this. Like sit down, holla at someone, tell them you want to talk to them, and sit and wait, expecting them to come to you. I could not believe this. Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware of the world we live in, but I was still shocked to my bones. At that moment, I was in my head in an ethereal realm where beings had an inherent understanding of what, can I just call that thing respect? So to be snapped back by a very faulted human was dazing. After a few seconds of being rooted to the ground, I regained my control and then kept climbing my steps. I was drained.
Then this person gets up and walks towards me when he realizes I would not be coming to him. I now feel that was when I should have made a scene. He walks up to me and asks, “Are you busy?” and I nod. I cannot even bring myself to talk.
“Like very very busy?”
I nod again. I did not stop climbing when he came over, and now, we were both at the landing. I was beginning to will him away, but you see, he has not got a sensitive spirit.
“So you can’t even spare a few minutes? I called you and said I wanted to talk to you and you kept going,” He went on further.
I wondered if he did not understand nods = yes = affirmative = positive = true = agree.
I had just let him know I was busy. He did not wait to hear what I had to say about spending minutes with him, he was being poisonously selfish and I had had it.
Well, I thought I had until he continued, “So what if I was Jesus who had appeared to you in human form. Would you still walk away?”
Now I was mad, so I spoke and told him that he was not Jesus, Jesus would not talk the way he was talking, and certainly would not appear as another human. He already has his own body!
He is adamant and goes on to misquote scripture including, “God said he created man in his own image and likeness, so I am Jesus.”
“I am Jesus too,” I say and start walking away again.
He follows and says he wants to be friends with me. Caustic selfishness! He wants to be friends, he is not asking if we could be friends, is not caring what I want or think about it, probably does not even see me as somebody who should have a say in this because I am a girl, and he probably translates that to mean I should be elated that a guy has approached me, a “Christian guy” for that matter, and wants something with me. His body language, his words, his everything shouts this. It proclaims as on a banner how he sees himself as entitled to my time, to my attention, to my friendship. And this makes me sick.
I tell him no, and that I do not make friends with people who come asking flagrantly that they want to be friends.
Aside from the whole “inorganicness” that such offers or rather impositions stink of, I just feel that people who haughtily just tell somebody that they want to be their friend are too unaware of themselves and their deteriorated selfishness. Asking “Can we be…” is even annoying, how much more stating your twisted desire unabashedly. I…
I am tired now, and my stomach burns terribly. I have to stop here and rant the rest someplace else.
But let me add this bit, if ever you want to talk to someone, anyone (though I want to say if you are a guy and you want to talk to a girl, like all this gender nonsense is so warped that I don’t want to start talking about it in this state that I am in ) walk over to the person, don’t call them and expect them to come to you- that is the utmost height of disrespect. And if you go to them and they say or show they have no time, or just do not want to talk to you, just walk away, even if you think you are Jesus, dear Christian brothers.
Don’t persist in your blasphemy, we can read ( in case you forget that one as well, as some of you often forget that a woman is a complete human being and she has a destiny that will be fulfilled in spite of a man ) and we know scripture too.