They called it “hypervigilance” at the hospital, meaning that awful feeling of extreme alertness as you constantly scan your surroundings looking for threats you’re sure are there. I never experienced this, or perhaps I never realized I experience this until I got home from the hospital.
I’m supposed to be all better.
I’m supposed to be all better.
I’m supposed to be all better,
but I’m not.
I went out to dinner with my best friend and her boyfriend last night, and the restaurant was really crowded. I tried to reassure myself that it was mostly just senior citizens wrapping up their early bird special meals, but when I told myself, “It’s just old people. Relax,” my next thought was, “My rapist was an old person too.”
(He wasn’t actually old by most people’s standards, but he was older than I am. By twenty years. I’ve always liked older men (as much as a sapphic woman can like men) and it’s always gotten me in trouble. I shouldn’t have–)
I am thinking about the time I reported my male coworker for saying something overtly sexual to me after the store had closed and we were blocking the frozen foods section. I couldn’t keep my fat fucking mouth shut about reporting him because I hated him so much, and word got back to him that it was me. I blame Anastasia and Courtney for also having big mouths and loving drama. I wasn’t trying to cause drama by reporting him. It’s a grocery store for fuckssake, not a high school locker room. I was trying to get him to leave me alone and deflate his ego. He thought he could get away with anything. He made work seem like a big game, and he always looked at me like he knew something I didn’t know, and he would always wink at me like he was flirting even though everyone at work knows I’m gay (???) and I told him with a straight face every. single. time. he did that never to do it again because it made me uncomfortable as hell. I don’t go to work to hook up or make friends. (I mean, I am friends with a lot of my coworkers, but I’ve only ever spent time outside of work with three of them, and yes, I did ask Ben the cashier out, but I’ll write that one off as post-breakup insanity despite the fact that I think Ben would make a very good boyfriend, but it would be so weird to work with someone I’m dating, or have dated if/when we broke up, and I’m glad we’re still friends and I think it’s best that we stay that way, and I’m glad Ben isn’t the kind of man who would take advantage of me in any way that night I asked him out while we were driving back from Steak and Shake. All I’m saying is that Ben is a safe man, and I enjoy working with him.) I go to work to make a buck, do what’s asked of me, and go home. I didn’t appreciate how that coworker made a game of everything, half-assed everything, yet somehow made it look like he was working doubly hard, complained about my favorite manager, used the c-word to describe our female managers, always flirted with the customers, belittled the elderly women who came into the store, and was just generally a piece of shit. What happened exactly was: we were blocking the frozen section, and it was a bunch of the younger closing crew, people my age and in high school, so we were all shooting the shit and complaining about how it shouldn’t be the front end’s responsibility to do stock crew’s job, and the coworker called me Kat. I HATE being called Kat because of some shit that went down in high school with a girl named Cat, so I got pissed and told him not to call me that. He said, “I’ll call you whatever I want,” so I gave him the finger, to which he responded, “When and where and what position?” He was technically my superior at the time (though he has since been downgraded to a bagger, and I’m not sure if he even works at the store anymore), and I felt like he’d jerked the floor out from under me, and I didn’t have any kind of snappy comeback; it didn’t even occur to me to tell him that he was disgusting and I wouldn’t fuck him if he were the last man on earth, or even just to tell him he was a piece of shit.
Last night at the restaurant, the meat carver at the buffet was an older man, and he asked me if I go to the same university as my best friend (she was wearing a sweatshirt with the university’s logo on it), and I said no. Then, he asked me where I go to school, and I didn’t want to tell him because that’s identifying information. Looking back, I don’t suppose a random restaurant employee is going to stalk me based on what college I go to and no other information, but I still felt put on the spot when he asked me, and I wish I’d lied, or told him I’m in high school, but I’m not even sure I can pass as a high school student anymore.
I’m just so tired.