Dangerous Compassions

fck the patriarchy: happy father’s day

content warning: mention of cop violence

“What do you want in the middle of your sandwich?” I asked Ming.  Neighbors were shooting off fireworks.  We were getting up in the night to eat dinner.  “And don’t say air!  That is not a valid sandwich–that’s just bread!”

He wanted tofurky.  I chopped three huge green olives and put them in my sandwich, but I couldn’t really taste them.  I wanted more pungency.  Maybe my mouth isn’t tasting right.  Or the bread was too thick and neutralized them.

Yeah, it was a weird day, but what day isn’t?  We wanted donuts, when it was 4am.  We went to Ronald’s for our favorite vegan ones, in Chinatown.

While we were out, we stopped by a WinCo for some groceries.  I sat in the car in the parking lot, crying and writing a poem.  Yeah, it’s a weird poem.  It has to do with smelling a tissue and trying to smell the forest the tree came from.  Well, that’s how it starts.

I was crying a lot.  See’s candy emails had been telling me it’s not too late to buy my dad a Father’s Day present.  “Yeah, it is,” I told my computer.  “It’s almost four years too late.”  I was telling Ming about the whole experience.  Father’s Day is a hurdle.

“Feels like the world is requiring too much of me,” I told Ming.  “Maybe we should leave.  Maybe we could go to a place without all these bomb sounds.”

I thought it was just the almost fourth of Julyness–Ming said maybe it was Juneteenth.  Yeah, maybe.  He was at a Juneteenth event.  The cops took away the plywood signs; the protesters couldn’t have shields.

Hmm, why would protestors need shields?  Maybe because…cops will hit them with “rubber” bullets, teargas, mace, batons, tasers, the ground, and whatever the hell they feel like it?

I’m trying to make sense of that and failing.  It’s not like the cops were taking away the protesters’ rocket launchers, drones, slingshots, swords, guns, flamethrowers, sonic torture devices, or molotov cocktails.

Seriously!  “You are not allowed to shield yourself from our attacks!  How dare you presume to protect yourselves from our protecting you!”

Cops always come talk to us when we protest, at the air force base. They want to check us out and show us they’re boss.  At the end they say, “We just want you to be safe.”  Their patriarchal condescending fake-ass care is painful, with their preferential treatment of the counter-demonstrators.  Too bad cops can’t keep us safe from cops.

I wish I didn’t know what the word kettling means.  I wish they didn’t have tanks.  How about the attack dogs.  How about repulsive power plays I didn’t sign up for.  Or targeting the legal observers, and targeting street medics.  Or targeting Black people.  Or killing anyone.  How about that.

Well, rosemary tea is amazing.  Thank god for realizing I could make tea out of all kinds of stuff.  Planting the sunchokes with the lemon verbena was a mistake, as the sunchokes shaded out the verbena, but we’ll figure something out.

We have some vegan hotdogs.  I want to make rice and then slice up vegan hotdogs and fry them, then mix them with the rice and other delicious stuff, like maybe some kale from our garden.

That probably sounds gross to you, but vegan hotdogs are a lovely treat, for me.  A lot about my childhood was painful, and I remember it that way–I hear others mention the blissful, carefree nature of childhood, and I look at them like–what are you talking about???

But some of the food is still good.  I ate meat then, as I didn’t know there were other choices.  I have veg versions now.

1.  soyrizo

2.  vegan hotdogs

3.  enchiladas

4.  mushroom stroganoff

5.  tamales

6,  garlic bread

7.  toast

8.  cookies

9.  tea

10.  crepes with butter and lemon juice and sugar

I told Ming my fantasy of rice with hotdogs and kale.  “How do you say white trash without using the term white trash?” I asked him.  My mom was the main cook, and she was Mexican-American.  But any food involving hotdogs that are not in a bun seems very white trash to me.

Nobody is trash.  Not me, not my dad who is ashes now, certainly not Mama who is the same, not the cops, not the counter-demonstrators, not the air force workers who are mostly trying to feed their families under the oppression of capitalism. 

Not the homeless person lying on the sidewalk who I triked by a few days ago.  He was sleeping.  His clothes were dirty, and he was wearing only one shoe.

This sewing box in an old Chinese cookie tin with its antique needles never ceases to charm me.  I wanted to post this picture on facebook and say, Everyone who lived in this house before us–wtf???  Then I would tag a few people who lived in this house, before us.

I was looking for a seam ripper.  Ming used scissors to remove a tag and accidentally put a tiny hole in my dress, just the slip part, but it’s unfortunate.

I would like to note how life is all mixed together.  I talk about police violence and also foods, an old sewing box and also homelessness.  That I haven’t figured out how to convey the idea of white trash without the problematic term.

I don’t want to pretend to you that I suffer all day, or am overjoyed all day.  I’ve been thinking about race all day since age three, but also food, tea, and my clothes hurting me with seams, tags, weird fabrics, and other sensory bullshit.

Thank god I have clothes, and for Ming, for helping me have a happy life to do stuff in.  And that some sperm encountered an egg, 44 years ago, and I was given a chance to tour Earth as a human.  Happy father’s day.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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