Months (July)

It’s July and I want to kill myself.

I realised I haven’t talked to Kiya since I moved out. I hope she’s okay.

I’m not proud of it, but I went on every facet of social media to find out what happened to Clarice. She made an easily tracked throwaway account for a forum. The forum was all about “healing”. “Healing” from homosexuality. Clarice said her parents had been right all along, but she didn’t know how to get out of our relationship. Clarice had opened up more to people whose usernames she spelled wrong than to me.

I moved in with Harry. Thankfully he’s just creepy enough to motivate me to get a job and get away from him. Thank god he has a guest bedroom I can sleep in.

I lock my door every night, but it doesn’t click when I turn the lock. I’ve started putting a chair in front of it, too, just in case. I tried singing in the shower one time but… I felt like he was listening.

Harry thinks we’re in love. I keep telling him I’m not interested in him like that, but he’s never heard me. He does make me some rocking tiramisu, though, and he has an xbox.

I got a retail job at the mall, and the pizza place two blocks down. Of course, Harry started coincidentally working at the pizza place a week after me, having mostly the same hours. I told my manager to not let him touch me at all, and that he thinks I live with him, but I don’t. I made her promise not to correct him, since he might take it out on me. It’s great to have a bit of refuge from him.

The manager is so nice. She’s in her mid-30’s, and probably didn’t picture herself here at her age. We talk about nail polish and celebrities a lot. I’m not sure we’d know what else to talk about, but I have a feeling she’s just as desperate for friends as I am. She asked me a few times why I wear long sleeves in the hot weather, but I still don’t think she gets it.

 

Months (June)

It’s June and I want to kill myself.

Clarice is gone. It took me a long time to figure out why. I think that’s why it hurts so much.

Her roommates were outside the house when I got there. I tried my best to ignore them, and just walk by. I saw one of them had my backpack under her chair, but I didn’t want to make a scene. I’d grab it later. I tried to brush past them, I really tried.

When I went to open the door, it was locked. I pulled it a few more times. Clarice had promised she’d leave it unlocked whenever I was out. She promised. I really didn’t want to talk to her roommates.

I took a deep breath. Something was really wrong. I could hear the roommates whispering. They were talking about me and giggling. I could feel tears coming on, but I put pressure on my eyelids so it just looked like I had a headache. I turned around and walked back to them. I asked if they could unlock the door as calmly and casually as I could, like I didn’t notice the horrible feeling in my gut.

They said she didn’t want to see me. The one with my bag practically hurled it at me. They said she was done being a dyke, and I should move on too. I felt a million things at once, but the loudest one was anger at them. They were messing with me. They had to be. They had always been cunts, and now they were taking it too far, telling me my Clarice didn’t want me. I hissed at them that she would never do that. And they fucking laughed. They looked me in the eyes and they laughed.

I made a quick motion towards them to make the bitches jump, but instead picked up a piece of gravel from under their feet and threw it at Clarice’s window. They laughed even harder. I could feel the tears escaping my eyes now. I screamed Clarice’s name and kept throwing rocks up at the glass. I hoped it would break. After far too long, her face appeared in the window. It was red, covered in tears. She opened the window long enough to scream at me. She told me to get lost and slammed it shut again.

People always say words can’t hurt you, but her voice knocked the wind out of me. I fell on my ass, unable to think. Everything shut down.

The first thing I remember after that was her roommates laughing at me. Their cackling quickly filled my head and wouldn’t leave, wouldn’t stop. I snapped.

The police said it was the worst assault they’d seen on campus in a few years. They said it figures that I didn’t even really go there. They told me they’d have to beef up security to keep riffraff like me out. They were going to say something else, but they changed it to riffraff right before they said it. I just didn’t talk for most of the investigation.

For reasons I’ll never understand, I got out of there with just a fine and restraining order. It wasn’t until I was out of the police station that I even realised I could’ve gone to prison. I still wonder if that would’ve been better.

Aunt Tiffany paid my bail. She thought it was for textbooks. I promised her I’d pay her back once I got my degree. She didn’t believe me, which is good.

 

Months (May)

It’s May and I want to kill myself.

I finally brought myself to do something. I went to church.

Clarice had went to a party the night before, and wasn’t back yet, so I spent that Sunday morning wandering. I stumbled across a Quaker church. It was small, but all the windows had stained glass. I met quite a few old women there, knitting before the service. They smiled and talked to me about their faith. I repeated things I had been told about Jesus, and they nodded politely. It was almost like a conversation.

We sat for an hour in silence. Well, they did. I ended up leaving after forty five minutes. At first I just wanted to stand up and stretch my legs, but I got antsier and antsier and I couldn’t bring myself to go back. The ladies were so nice, but I couldn’t stand being inside anymore. I snuck out the back door and ran down the street.

I ended up going to the park and vomiting behind a tree. I just kept thinking, “at least it’s warm out.”

Clarice didn’t get back until after dinner. She apologized, but she did the same thing the next weekend. I made sure to hold her tight on weeknights.

Months (April)

It’s April and I want to kill myself.

I received another email from my college telling me to remember to formally drop out (since that’s probably why I’m not showing up to classes). It’s hard to leave Clarice’s room. I feel horrible every time she has to buy me more food. I owe her about $245.

I get weird looks every time I walk around the campus; Clarice tells me it’s because of how I hold myself. I always felt more like I drag myself.

The roommates are catty. They like to tease my girlfriend for being a lesbian, and as much as Clarice likes to act tough, it gets under her skin. I feel like it has more to do with what people in the past have said than what her roommates say. I tell her I know what it feels like, but she doesn’t listen.

I haven’t told her about dad yet. But she’s important to me and I really want to tell her. I want to be able to tell someone

[[ Thanks! ]]

Just wanted to do a quick thank you post to all the wonderful people who follow this blog! I appreciate y’all so much, and an extra thank you to everyone who likes or reblogs my stories! It really helps motivate me :) Thank you all!

Months (March)

It’s March and I want to kill myself.

I left Kiya’s house and slept on park benches for the first half of this month.  Everything I own is in either my backpack or my purse. I wish I had a car. Walking to classes in the cold from the cold and then leaving them to go back into the cold… I hate winter.

I didn’t know what to do with myself during the days. I ended up going inside the public library for hours on end. It’s warm and the librarians are kind and quiet. I keep telling myself I’ll do homework and projects for the classes I’ve been skipping, but I just spend my entire day looking at tutorials. Nothing specific, but I just want to know how to draw things and make things and grow things. I keep coming back to a wirecrafted moth.

I met a girl on the seventeenth. She didn’t mind that I smelled bad, and shared her lunch with me. She was at the library all day doing a project for her botany class. We talked as I helped her do research, and it turns out she goes to the private university in town. Her name is Clarice.

We kept talking and talking and soon the library was closing. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bigger lump in my throat; This girl was so beautiful and kind, and I didn’t want her to know I had no where to go. But something amazing happened: Clarice invited me back to her place. I tried to not read too much into it.

We watched movies until the wee hours, when her roommates were coming home drunk. As soon as they spotted us sitting an awkward distance away from each other on the couch, they issued a warning: that girl was trying to seducing me.

I always thought it was kind of amusing just how pale white girls get when they’re embarrassed. Maybe that distracted me enough to get the confidence to do what I did next. I put on my most playful, defiant and confident face, and stared them down. “She’s not just trying,” I sneered at them. My heart was racing, but I pulled myself up against her body and kissed her cheek. Everything slowed down as I waited for Clarice’s reaction but I kept a sly smile on the whole time. Her pupils dilated and she pounced on me. I heard her roommates gasping and clucking amongst themselves as they left the room again.

I’ve been staying with her every night since.

Months (February)

It’s February and I want to kill myself.

I dyed my hair magenta. It’s a slight improvement.

I stopped going to history class. I can’t stand his stares. I don’t know if they’re lewd or hateful or some disgusting combination, but every time he does it my insides turn brittle and sharp. I don’t know what I’m going to do.

Kiya’s baby died of SIDS. She doesn’t know what she’s going to do. She’s no longer an unwed teen mother, but she’s obviously not happy about it. I want to move off her couch soon so she can figure her stuff out without me constantly under her feet. I sold most of my old clothes, and though it isn’t enough for rent anywhere, I’m hoping I can somehow give her some.

Months (January)

It’s January and I want to kill myself.

I can’t stay on Kiya’s couch forever. They had their power shut off two weeks ago, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I woke up dead from hypothermia. The baby won’t stop crying… I can’t really complain to her; I mean, she’s letting me stay in her house for free. But that baby screams a lot even for a baby.

Three days ago a man called me a “mixed girl” and it’s still rattling around in my head. I thought I could pass for white these days, but the venom he spat at me when he said it proves I can’t. I guess I might as well start singing spirituals again. I only stopped because it was too “ethnic”, but I don’t think I care much anymore; I’m too numb to notice racists. Except this one. He’s my American History professor.

Going to try something new. I’m still in the process of writing a short story, but I’ve decided to split it up into different sections. I’ll post each section as the story develops a bit more. I don’t plan on having a regular schedule with this, and the sections will be varying lengths. Bare with me!

What Gwen Stacy Should’ve Said to Spiderman

The most recent second Spiderman installment has already faced a lot of criticism. The film bounces between being completely ham-fisted in its foreshadowing of some things and having practically no set up for others; Some of the scenes between Harry (New Goblin) and Peter are unbearably halted and stiff, despite their suddenly revealed close friendship; And of course, the plot bouncing from villian to villian (to discovering family secrets, to relationship issues, back to villians). But no one seems to be talking about the one thing that made me most uncomfortable: Peter Parker becomes a stalker.

It’s hinted at that Gwen and Peter are off-again on-again, and there’s a lot of complicated feelings. After graduating high school, Peter attempts to break up with her to fulfill Gwen’s father’s dying request: To keep his daughter out of harm’s way, out of Spiderman’s lifestyle. And Gwen, sick of Peter’s flip-flopping, dumps him, making the breakup complicated… but mutual.

It’s a commonly explored trope, having superheroes isolate themselves in order to protect those they love. But all too often, it also intersects with the idea of helpless women; Instead of enpowering the dream girl with ways to protect herself, the hero must sacrifice his own happiness so the dream girl can remain hidden and safe. The woman, throughout the story, does not change. She does not gain anything.

But what really got under my skin was the Spidey-stalking. We see Peter as Spiderman, following Gwen on the street, watching from the rooftops. It’s unsettling, but when Gwen looks at where he’d just been and smiles, and uplifting music plays, we’re reassured that Peter knows best. He’s just keeping an eye on her, keeping her safe!

There’s all sorts of toxic mentalities going on here: that Gwen cannot look out for herself, that it’s still Peter’s duty to protect her, and that Gwen’s consent is not needed. Gwen is the passive party in this interaction; She is the helpless child in need of protection, not the grown woman who, by the way, doesn’t really need protecting if no one knows she’s linked to Spiderman.

When summer ends and Gwen contacts Peter again, she says she wants to get together. She reveals when he arrives that she is only looking for friendship, and Peter immediately tells her if she wants that, to not be so cute. It’s meant to be playful, but Peter is repeating a common mentality in rape culture: You’re asking for it.

And the insulting cherry on this sundae of creepiness: When Gwen discovers that Peter has been stalking her, she doesn’t respond with outrage. It’s hard to figure out what she’s thinking thanks to some awkward writing, but it seems to be a mix between slightly offended and slightly flattered. And even that is quickly glossed over, as the next action scene is already starting. Gwen’s response to being stalked is not important, just as her consent to being protected wasn’t.

While you can create whatever specific excuse to the Spiderman universe as to why it was specifically okay in this specific situation with these specific characters, we need to keep the bigger picture in mind. Media affects us, and when we repeatedly see scenarios with women passively being stalked and emotionally abused, that affects us too. We get it drilled into our heads that this is okay behaviour, that this is how we should react. It’s one of the many factors that keep women experiencing these things in real life silent: all the other (fictional) women she’s seen go through these situations stay silent. There’s no examples of other options.

So, to the writers of The Amazing Spiderman 2, here’s what Gwen Stacy should’ve said to Spiderman: She should’ve said that it wasn’t okay that he followed her around. She should’ve said that it made her feel uncomfortable and was a violation of her privacy. She should’ve said that she didn’t want to see him again if he would behave like this. And she should’ve had a place to say it. You’re affecting young minds with your movies; Please use it to empower them.