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Language Log

Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023 - 6:26 p.m.

Bad trolley ride. Saturday night through campus. One drunk young man tried to get M’s attention to compliment her on the drawing she had been doing and I intercepted and tried to keep him from bothering her but like I do every now and then I had a vision of her taking public transport because she doesn’t drive, drawing to keep her focus off the noise and people, and having men trying to talk to her, getting mad when she won’t respond, being terrible, her being in trouble. This particular college student was fine and rather apologetic for whatever but I know they aren’t all or they won’t all be without someone to intervene or her learning to deflect and protect herself.

Even after he got off the trolley my mind was there in that place of fear of the future I sometimes experience and overwhelmed myself by the people and noise and didn’t register the older black man with a walker waiting in the doorway of the trolley while my family took up the handicapped seats. I didn’t notice until we were getting off and he went to sit and I realized we should have moved for him and it was race privilege class privilege and it was bad, so bad and I didn’t even register it to apologize until we were already off. And I feel like shit, pure shit. But my mind was still there thinking of how do we teach Q to mask enough to keep men from getting angry at her on a street car. But then my mind so preoccupied by one injustice I committed another and there are no excuses and no one cares that I’m sorry.

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