Use Your Words

February 5, 2015
Picture if you will (the narrator from The Twilight Zone saying that)
A crowded Chinese restaurant. There is a couple at a table. 
Over the din of clanking plates and drunken rhetoric you hear this, spoken in that angry clipped tone reserved for sullen children.
“I cannot believe you wore that out, you look cheap”
“Why did you order that? Aren’t you fat enough?”
“Why are you looking at the server like that? Are you flirting? You are an embarrassment. What is wrong with you? Oh sit down, you aren’t going anywhere.”
What do you do?
If it’s a woman talking to a man like that, statistically, you do nothing.
It happened to me, I was on the receiving end of said barrage. I got rescued by a rugby team, took me over to their table until he left and made sure I got in a cab safely. I was lucky. Sorta, that was one of the culminating incidents that led me to leave the soon-to-be rapist. I still went back after, but for one night I was safe. Thanks rugby guys.
That is not what this is about.
Once upon I time I answered the phone.
‘Help me, I need help’ smash bang boom.
Dead air…dial tone.
What the actual fuck?
Check the call display, it’s a friend.
“Get your coat honey, we gotta go”.
Jump in a cab, arrive at friend’s house. Door is busted.
Call out hello, walk in. My first thought is burglary. The house is trashed. Get a little further into the apartment, my friend is crouched in between the kitchen table and the wall, bleeding.
All of a sudden I get shoved hard into the table. Turn around and it’s his girlfriend, holding the house phone like a weapon.
All of a sudden his bloody nose and the phone call make sense. So did his insistence on wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts in August.
She beat the shit out of him, for a year. And when he couldn’t take it anymore, he called me and boyfriend. Not the cops, the shame was so immense.
I know exactly how he felt, a few years later, the morning I escaped the rapist, I called his best friend to come get him out of my house.
I watched a video on Facebook the other day. It was a montage of women hitting men. How is this thing circulating without these women being found and charged?
There is a Battle of the Sexes and fuck me, we are all doing it wrong.
I have borne witness way too many times to my friends, male and female being financially, emotionally and physically abused by the partners they are with.
When did we replace the word love with ownership?
No one has the right to terrorize another person or control their actions.
You don’t like what your partner is doing? Fucking leave.
Didn’t we learn in kindergarten to keep our hands to ourselves and use our words?

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  • Alex Mei February 5, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Fuck yeah!!!!!

  • Cindy Spowart February 6, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    i loved it. it struck a nerve. this isn’t the place for me to make the point about why some people don’t leave their abusive partners or how many times they do leave before they leave for good. i’m sure you know all that. extremely powerful writing, sarah. this one, i want to forget i read. that means it really hit home and it is that great.

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