like flies on shit, part 2

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i’m at book ’em & i was using the bathroom & i heard a man and a woman screaming at each other. i heard him hit her & ran out of the bathroom to see what the fuck was going on. the woman was already on the phone calling the cops, screaming about how he hit her, how he tore her earring out.
the cops came surprisingly fast & i followed them out. the guy (an ex-con volunteer who was here for the first time) was screaming, “you a lying bitch. you a lying bitch. ain’t no witnesses!” and i stepped forward and said, “actually, i heard the whole thing from the bathroom. i heard you hit her.” and that was so scary, & the look on his face, & oh. shit. oh fucking shit.
i am aware of the implications of being a white girl doing political work in a poor black neighborhood handing over a black ex-con to some white cops. i am also aware that every time i see a woman hit & do nothing, it kills me a little more. in fact, i had JUST come from a violence-against-women poetry event where i read a poem about seeing a woman getting choked on a subway platform in the bronx. your silence will not protect you, right? & so i said something. nothing happened to him, of course. the cops were scoffing, “aw, it’s just a domestic argument.” like, who cares.
the most fucked up part of the story? while i was hiding in the back getting upset quietly because i couldn’t take it anymore, the woman got picked up by a friend. five minutes later, they came back to the center & picked him up. they picked him up. he got into the car.
i am pretty speechless & super-terrified of retaliation. i am feeling triggered and teary and numb. i am still at the mert & thinking of going home but unsure of what i’d do there. unsure if this car full of crazy people is going to recognize me & do something fucked-up. i kind of really don’t want to go down into that basement full of ex-cons who know that i squealed. they don’t know my reasons for it; & how can i tell them? they don’t give a shit. why would they give a shit? they don’t understand. and i don’t understand what they have gone through. and….and….and….i don’t know. i don’t even know what else to say.

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2 responses »

  1. oh osh, one late night when she finds a quiet moment in her head, she’s gonna remember *someone* thought it wasn’t alright for her to be hit. good job speaking your truth – it’s harder to apologize to ourselves than to others… xoxoSQ

  2. God it sounds like a pretty horrible scenario overall. Hope things are are better and that this incident doesn’t fuck with your commitment to the cause too much.

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