Night Fears - wip (a work in progress)
I have been told I am so brave to travel by myself, to sleep in my truck by myself.
And I think about the man in my country who wants to believe so deeply that the u.s. is so good to me and Mexico is such a terrible country, that he hopes someone here will chop off my arm.
Someone in the u.s. wants my arm chopped off by Mexicans. To prove to me how lucky I am to share soil with him and his violent desires.
When I lay down to sleep, I put a circle around me and my casa-camion – as I do in the states. And here, as there, I hope that circle will protect me from the violence of men.
And here, as in the states, I think about all the womyn and children who need and deserve this circle so much more than me.
And the times womyn surely most have put those circles around themselves and others, and have those circles somehow fail to withstand the extreme violence of men.
I wonder why I am now taking such a chance, traveling alone, and letting people know I am traveling alone (as if I could hide it), sleeping in places where I have no idea who is around to harm me.
After all, I could be sleeping in my own apartment, hoping no one will break in at night or wait for me on a dark street in my car, or on an empty elevator instead of not knowing who will want to try to harm me here.
Or who is around to help me, should I ever need their help.
I think here since I’ve been traveling, more people are prompted to “aviso”, as they tell me – to watch out for me, to make sure I am safe, then people who are wanting to help me share what possessions I have with them.
Then I think is it so different in the u.s.? The fear of waiting for male violence to occure! Except the level of violence is so different in the u.s., as is the level of neighborly protection.
And the thoughts begin. I think about who in this country would want to come “get me”?
I can’t imagine any of the men here taking my life just for the sake of killing me. And I imagine that all the time in the u.s.
I think about the miniscule chance for some strange man in this country to come at night just to take my life, well then it’s okay. Not that I want my life taken - I don’t - but I think, okay take it if he thinks he must. It would be a release, a relief, a laying down of the burdens of this life, an end of my work here.
How can I be afraid of death, of dying? Why should I be afraid? I am not – which could be easy to say as I do not face a real threat of death.
But those times that I have faced a real threat of death in my country, I felt a calm come over me, maybe a disbelief that this person would really really really hurt me.
Here, I think about the fly on Fer’s check, or Jorge’s mom peeing in the dust, how normal these things are for them and I wonder why we can’t teach our children dying is as normal as the sun coming up or a fly landing or the releasing of pee.
It’s not the dying part that is scary but the suffering part – whether at the hands of a stranger or a disease.
I do not want to suffer. But I think of the Iraqi womon laying down in what she calls her home, her bed, her room, her safe place, and her fears of soldiers breaking in, of bombs falling, of explosions outside her thin walls.
I do not want to suffer. But I think of the torture that little girls face from violent men, that womyn in war zones suffer, that peoples subjected to the ravages of genocide and colonization have endured.
I do not want to suffer. But how people have suffered in their fierce fights to prevent genocide, to end slavery, to combat colonization, to fight that force on this earth that feeds off the wails of womyn, the terror of children, the blood of humans, the violence of males.
And I still do not want to suffer. But I know that at least my suffering will have an end. How will the suffering inflicted by genocide and colonization have an end? By rape and torture? By the terrors, the terrors, the terrors of war? How? How? How?
Or will the man(e) who comes for me be someone(s) who wants all my things? Or just my cash? What if they want something from the outside, underneath my truck? I will share with them and hope they don’t want everything.
But even if I do give them everything, what is the worse thing that will happen? I will report it to the police, the insurance company, and eventually I will recover some, if not all, of my loss.
But the person or people who have relieved me of my goods, they will now have to live with the fear of being caught, sent to jail or worse, if there is worse. They will have to worry about converting my things into treasures for themselves.
And learning to enjoy those treasures. Although this doesn’t seem to be too hard for folks in the u.s., the enjoyment of treasures secured through theft allowed by war or just the threat of war.
Or even if I don’t report it, even if everything is taken from me, it is only things that will have been taken from me. I have more things. I have an apartment in the states to return to. I have a bank account with enough money to make it back to the Bay. I have friends, family, maybe even strangers who would help me out.
Or what if it is the federales or soldados who come for me. The ones is u.s. uniforms, whether army or the dark uniforms of our homeland security guards.
Perhaps they are the most terrifying, for they will want my freedom. My freedom of speech, of thought, of beliefs.
Isn’t it ‘funny’ that in the u.s., we get worked up into a nationalistic fervor believing ‘those people’ are envious of our ‘freedom’; ‘those people’ want our freedom.
And the first thing we do is train men to take away the freedoms of the people – to think, to speak, to act, to decide.
But I have to believe no one will ever be able to take away my freedom to be me. They might be able to limit my choices of expression, to hurt or drug me into doing whatever they want me to do. But they will never get inside to my roots – because my roots exist with the womyn who have come before me, the womyn here now, and the womyn to come.