And then things are over, and I can’t go back. Even though in the midst of the moment I wanted out. My eyes scanned the scene for exits. My mind thought of excuses. You were boring. I was bored. I was bored. I. Was. Bored. And that is just what it is. That is it. We, I, go into these things with expectations and we, I sit there and are bored. I think this is it/ I will play along, I will small talk, I will be good, so good. And then, two seconds in, bored. /Boring. Boring. So boring. /Pop culture talk, boring. Weather talk, boring. What we all know, we as in women, we as in younger women, we as in women trying to exist in some degree of woke-ness where we /expect better of those who speak to us, we are bored, we are disappointed, /we are tired. We as in the oppressed of all stripes and medals. Here is how it usually goes: we brace ourselves. We brace. /Is this going to go well, be okay, or are we going to flight and flutter between utter boredom and/ the exhaustion /of having to teach and explain, no it’s not PC to be kind to people, no PC is not even really a thing /that just means basic respect for people who are marginalized, no academia is not teaching kids how to be socialists, no those people are not taking anyone’s jobs, /no, no, no, no, and no, this bracing this constant bracing waiting for some racist or misogynistic garbage to spew /and trying to at the same damn time the same moment the same blessing the same effort to be compassionate for /they know not what they do/ and for kindness is the way to change and all of this and all of this stuff we know and I know and you know but /the inner sense of rage wants to flip tables wants to burn it all down wants to scream /and we cannot we cannot we cannot/ because/ we have to do our job of educating /our job of being patient/ our job of trying to convince these people of a certain age and of a certain position and of a certain leaning that /no it is not sensitive to not want to hear misogyny and sexism in jokes anymore /and no it is not sensitive to want to put an end to people as mascots/ people as objects/ and no it is not sensitive to believe that you can do better be better live better than what you think is okay right now you say/ oh it is so hard to even tell a joke these days everyone is so easily offended /and I say wow what a lazy limited no talent view what a cop out to think the only way to be funny or to get some laughs or to make small talk is to have this “wide open free space” /where let’s face it you mean they mean you all always mean when you speak of this freedom that you only want the freedom to know that it is okay to be sexist pigs and to make fun of primarily Black people/ and for real when has this ever ever ever been funny/ and to whom/ and if I ask you that question would you get/would you hear/ the answer that falls from your own mouth /or would you do what usually happens in these little situations of utter boredom /and mutter /under your breath something about wimps and Millennials and snowflakes and can’t take a joke and /then/ slink out of sight slither out of sight /while we all wait and wait and wait for you and yours to go away /and give us some part /of this world while it is still spinning/ give us some space/ to create /and be/ and exist as better humans who hold each other accountable for the power of words/ and who want to pass on respect and joy /and to lift each other up instead of /lurking in the trash shadows ya’ll have decided counts as freedom and normal and just being funny /and lighten up ladies — to which I say/enlighten up, assholes /because you’re boring/ and your time is up, we are tired, we are tired, we are tired, and/ this constant babysitting of your ego as it tantrums and refuses to grow/ up is exhausting/// — get off our lawns, let us grow something good for a change.
©Jenny Justice. All Rights Reserved.
Jenny Justice, Poet. Author of Love in the Time of Climate Change and Reveal. You can read more of her poetry at Justice Poetic. Sign up for her newsletter here.