Kate LeDrew

dear kate (december 31, 2018),

 

this year

go everywhere

do everything

especially if it’s free

don’t cover your face when you laugh

make eye contact with strangers

tell everyone you love you love them

tell everyone you can’t forgive you forgive them

store every piece of happiness you’ve ever had

in a box with no lid, 365 days worth, 730, 1095,

and don’t forget that pesky 1/4 it takes to get around the sun

trust me, I know you don’t think it matters now

it matters

 

 

 

when a man walks through a door and keeps walking

 

the spring tension modulated by hydraulic fluid

passes from one reservoir to another

and, because there is no hand to hold it open,

the spring pushes the door shut

hitting me as I’m trying to walk in

we both, the man and I, know,

without knowing the exact mechanics that go into it,

how a door works

so, I measure my reaction to a door shutting in my face

by whether the man has seen me or not

by whether the man knows

he has just allowed a door to shut on another person

or whether he has simply allowed a door to shut

these are the options I give myself when a door shuts in my face

but neither is true

allowing a door to close without looking behind you

is no different than pulling it shut

when you know how a door works

 

 

how to ruin a day by thinking it can’t go both ways

 

I don’t know whether to be mad or glad you think I’m capable of ruining an entire day

this little body of mine,

its volume 62,000 cubic centimeters give or take

able to destroy 86,400 seconds, 1440 minutes,

24 hours, one complete rotation of the earth on its axis, give or take,

that I could affect the moon’s gravity, its generation of a tidal force

controlling the world’s tides —

you think I can do this?

and that you would say this now, in the middle of a global pandemic —

and that’s another thing,

I do not refer to it as a global pandemic because I am unaware of what pandemic means

(from the greek pan — all — and demos — people — literally ‘all the people’)

I know ‘global’ or ‘worldwide’ is redundant

I am simply trying to capture the immensity of the thing

because pandemic, no matter how colossal a word

cannot not do justice to what is happening now to every-single-person-on-the-planet

and, if I could offer another word, pedantic — definition — you,

from the italian pedante, i.e. somebody nobody likes,

if you really think I have ruined your entire day,

and you pointing out this capability

has not changed or hampered my own day in any way

give me a moment

because I am a woman and you have no capability of understanding

the enormity of the bullshit I have had to put up with every-single-day-of-my-life

simply for being born

and maybe this is it, the day all old scores are settled, and you are the proxy

the man-shaped stand-in for every cruel, unfair, unwarranted slight this world has produced

so stick out that bottom lip a little further and wait

if this is all it takes to ruin a day

I can ruin an entire life without moving a muscle

Kate LaDew is a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Studio Arts.  She resides in Graham, NC with her cats Charlie Chaplin and Janis Joplin.