Monday, February 13, 2012


'Don't lookat me like that,' she said, 'It's creeping me out.'

Some people began to giggle and soon the whole class joined in. And I had had a thought — it was lodged in my head somewhere, and I was trying to get it out. No, it wasn't a thought, it was a feeling. It was a feeling waiting to be translated (edit: this is how I make sense of literature). And so I stared some more, defiantly, embarrassed. As the laugher rose, I knew why they were laughing and it made me sad.


I was talking about gay families in another class. Some of them were smiling. Some of them were having entire conversations on the benches.

I think, I'm so glad I'm done with these people. Whether that has any validity remains to be seen. But for the sake of my sanity...

'Why are you so angry? I didn't know you were actually angry. Chill out. Relax.'


He talked of both how temporary the world is and how you have to be kind. He said, I know you have these parties. He said, the world is a place of temptation. A lot of people were impressed. I couldn't understand why he said, Be 'god-fearing.' I wanted to get up and ask him about the crimes religious people do. Most people in prisons, well over 95% of them, believe in some kind of god. I wanted to get up and ask him why he thinks hijab is a good idea. But, but, but. Sometimes I feel like I am suffocating. I want to know how this was separate from other world religions. Why talk of islam as if it is the only religion that talks of the poor, for example?

I was angry but I didn't say anything. I have seen what happens to people who do say things. 

And, what the what, I'm getting out of here aren't I? I am a one-woman minority perhaps. My anger is perhaps only for myself, an act of self-preservation.

I looked at my hands throughout and thought about yesterday instead. Who are your role models? he asked, You look for glamour. I thought, You know nothing about me. You claim to know what will save me. But you don't know the first thing about me. How much do you really know of people?


All that saved me was a memory of a smile. It buoyed me till I got to my next laugh, a few minutes later, in response to a report of a girl who had behaved somewhat out of character. Perhaps somebody else would laugh at her, but all I could laugh at was how fabulous she is. It was a laugh not of degradation, of sarcasm. It was a laugh of appreciation and it was a laugh at how ridiculous the world is, and it felt good.

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