So. Here we are. The voices of millions of victims of sexual assault were ignored, and, although two of the literal qualifications for a United States judge are a) maintaining public confidence and b) having the kind of impeccable integrity not to, say, sidestep direct questions from Congress or minimize one’s past flaws under oath, we’ve got him anyway.
Well, that sucks.
Yesterday, I had the poops. Food poisoning, I’m pretty sure, since the condition arrived suddenly and departed a mere hour later. But it could’ve been the political situation, which is a lot less delicious than shrimp ceviche. I feel like either could’ve caused the rolling sweats, the dramatic drop in blood pressure, the excruciating cramps, and the certainty that THIS TIME I WILL ACTUALLY DIE because my EMT cousin told me they find people dead on the toilet all the time. (Thanks, Kevin.)
It was a public restroom, too, because of course I couldn’t do this in the privacy of my own room. Nope. Gotta be as disruptive and humiliating as possible. So I sat there trying to have the quiet poops, which everyone knows is impossible but necessary to attempt so you and your potty compatriots can pretend together nothing happened.
For a while.
Until I reached the part where you cannot continue unless you strip yourself of all clothing. I don’t know why this is. I can’t explain it. I just know there reaches a point in the poopies where your poops are stymied unless your flesh is free. So I divested myself of clothes in deference to the poopies.
The problem was the poopies liked that. They liked it so much, they decided to all flee my body at once.
My vision started to go black. I stopped caring about the quiet, which is a good thing because the poopies and the keening weren’t having it. I nearly passed out, and I realized, if I didn’t want my lifeless body to be found on the floor of a locked stall, blocking the door completely because there was no where else in the tiny closet for a body to go, I ought to seek assistance. I ought to at least pass out in an environment where other humans have access to me that they might give me oxygen or CPR or at least put me on ice before I start to rot and create an even bigger problem. I wouldn’t be doing it for me, I convinced myself. I would be doing it for others.
And so I cracked open the door and starting saying “excuse me” in my calmest I’m Having an Crisis voice. “Excuse me,” I said but too quietly. The lady at the sink didn’t hear me. Or she was still in Politely Ignore the Situation in That Stall mode. “Excuse me,” I said louder. No luck. “I NEED HELP,” I squawked, WAY TOO LOUD because I lost Quiet Poopy Time focus, and she heard me and turned.
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m sorry but I need help,” I said because GOD FORBID we have needs without apologizing for them. And that lady spent the next 20 minutes tracking down help, finding Greg, and taking up watch outside my stall until he arrived to escort my sorry self back to our condo. Then she gracefully disappeared without waiting for thanks.
Of course she did. Because that’s what we compassionate humans do for each other in crisis. We listen. We believe.We tell the hurting soul trapped inside the stall to quit apologizing. We help as requested. We station ourselves to protect the vulnerable one until she’s safe. And then we bow out. No need for thanks because our literal job on this earth is to care for one another.
So here’s what we do now, friends.
1. We open our ears as WIDE as possible.
2. We listen to the cries for help.
3. We believe each other.
4. We run for help.
5. We protect the vulnerable.
6. We expect no thanks for doing the right thing. For treating each other as human. For creating a ruckus until help comes. Even though other people walk by. Even though not everyone is compassionate or kind or helpful. Even though standing by the stall takes 20 minutes away from other things we had planned. Even though people will try to tell us we’re extraordinary for lending a hand. We know otherwise. We know this is basic decency. We know that, while not everyone would do it, everyone should do it, and we will fulfill the Love One Another contract despite the behavior of others.
7. And finally, today, we remember we don’t “depend on the Supreme Court to defend the rights of poor people, women, people of color, dissenters of all kinds. Those rights only come alive when citizens organize, protest, demonstrate, strike, boycott, rebel, and violate the law in order to uphold justice.” And so we prepare ourselves for the fight to come.
Sending love, friends, and waving, waving, waving in the dark,
P. S. Yes, I just turned a story about the poops into one about the ways we help each other. I work with what I’ve got, folks.
P.P.S. IMPORTANT AND TIME SENSITIVE: Remember a couple days ago when I announced that I FOUND FOUND OUR PATRONUS, aka St. Jude, the Patron Saint of Chaos and Impossible Causes…
…and that I found 4 additional St. Jude medallions and chains should anyone want to purchase one? Well, one of you LOVELY, AMAZING HUMANS offered to purchase one for someone who needs it but can’t afford it. DEAR GOD, I LOVE OUR TRIBE. Also, there were more than 4 of you who wanted them. As a result, a) I’m going on a hunt tomorrow, our last day in Mexico to try hard to scoop up more, b) I’D LIKE TO KNOW IF ANYONE ELSE WANTS TO FOLLOW THAT RAD PERSON’S LEAD AND SPONSOR ST. JUDE MEDALLIONS FOR OTHERS because that’s the Very Best, Most Healing Idea I’ve heard in FOREVER 😍, and c) if you ARE the human who needs (which, in this case, is defined as really, really wishes she could have) a St. Jude medallion necklace but just can’t do the $35 right now, would you please let me know? In the case of b or c, pretty please email me at Beth@BethWoolsey.com with Expecto Patronum in the subject line. I can’t promise you I can find more or that I can give more than one away, but I’m going to TRY. Because HOPE is especially important right now.
P.P.P.S. And now it’s time for an announcement I’m super stoked to make.
Friends, I BROKE GREG.
As a refresher, we fostered kittens which Greg had STRICTLY forbidden because Greg is opposed to joy.
THEN Greg said he wanted a kitten for us. To KEEP. ForEVER.
I kid you not.
That’s a REAL THING THAT HAPPENED.
THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS TO KEEP THE FAITH, friends. I KNEW WE COULD BREAK HIM EVENTUALLY.
And so, because I love Greg and listen to everything he tells me, we’re adopting Luna next week:
But because I’m still me, we’re also adopting her twin brother, Griffin:
I feel like kittens are the most logical response to America right now, and I’m nothing if not logical. :*