How do we participate in society and listen to testimonies when that might bring our own past comes to the surface? Avey guides us through this type of experience in this stream of conscious narrative about watching the testimonies on Sepember 28, 2018, and how intrusive past thoughts can be confusing. She brings us back around to focus on centering survivors over perpetrators.
by Erica Avey
Mixed thoughts and feelings from repressed memories of sexual assault, spurred by seven long hours watching the Kavanaugh hearing.
Drinking parsley tea, watching the hearing. Disgruntled by the dirt in the details. But isn’t shit obvious? Smeared facts with his résumé (cool), his basketball practice (well done!), his grades (congrats!), and wait, his faith (still his, not this). But sir, one thing does not lead to the other. Let us explain in simple logic. Boil it down for you and drink the tea for this anxiety. If he lied about that, then would he lie about this? Seven hours of Him vs. her brought it to the surface. Manhattan, 2011. 2012? Couldn’t even tell you the year, let me check my calendar. He drugged me, pulled down my pants, and threw me in a room with his friend. Awoke from open eyes to open eyes, he behind me. I puked the whole way home, only drank one beer. Where’s the Off to these thoughts? Busy connecting the public and private. I try to distract from the past, but His face appears everywhere. September 27th, 2018 held me in a spell. After intaking the whole hearing I left to decompress and wound up in a dressing room, trying on a bra. Solace in fitting and dressing these breasts. Capitalistic bliss; an anesthetic drip. Our small is their extra large and it’s starting to seem like we’ve bitten too much. “Oh you don’t like underwires?” laughed the salesperson, “that’s cute.” This isn’t working. Still not sure what he did. Fuck that kid. Fuck all of you. Few of my exes too. The one who wouldn’t take no and the one who told me to go. To be quiet. Who gets to show rage in such a high place? Oh wait, can I show my emotions now or should I hold off a bit? Please oh please keep telling me how to be. Ha. “Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter.” Truth and lies can both cry. Read this, mister. You should be scared we don’t conform like they did. Doesn’t matter if you “like” or “don’t like” politics. Let’s call this place the divided states. Rewrite the compromise, draw a new line. Really wouldn’t give a damn, just preserve the land. Or let it burn and I’ll escort you to those fiery gates of which you believe, but don’t worry, you’ll still wake up in your bed tomorrow morning. Smash open the eyes on your head. Everything will be the same. Welcome to yourself. May that name never change. This was not written for you, or you. But, you. We see you.
Erica Avey writes about bioethics, psychedelic medicine, relationships, and migration. Her work is a mix of anecdotal theory (see Jane Gallop) and prose poetry. Avey was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and currently lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she is completing a postgraduate degree in bioethics.