asks you if she’s pretty
your heart will drop like a wineglass
on the hardwood floor
part of you will want to say
of course you are, don’t ever question it
and the other part
the part that is clawing at
will want to grab her by her shoulders
look straight into the wells of
her eyes until they echo back to you
you do not have to be if you don’t want to
it is not your job
both will feel right
one will feel better
she will only understand the first
when she wants to cut her hair off
or wear her brother’s clothes
you will feel the words in your
mouth like marbles
you do not have to be pretty if you don’t want to
it is not your job"
— it is not your job | Caitlyn Siehl (via alonesomes)
— Sandra Cisneros (via ioanina)
TW: Domestic Violence
Seeing the articles and photos of Nigella Lawson with her husband’s hand around her neck triggered a visceral memory.
When I was about 14 years old my dad was driving back from church with me and my sisters in our old gray minivan. Driving down Cermak Avenue in Cicero we saw a woman being beaten on the street by a dude - it was a Sunday around 1pm and they were on the street near parked cars but very much visible to anyone passing by. My dad pulled over, grabbed the woman and put her in the front seat. I opened the side door and yelled for her painfully young (about 6-7 year old) daughter to get inside. He was heading to the police station and the woman begged, BEGGED my dad not to take her there but instead asked him to drop her off at home. He hesitated. This was all pre-cell phones. The little girl was hysterical and said she just wanted to go home too so he reluctantly drove them home. He offered to send me to a gas station across the street to call the cops but the woman insisted that if the cops showed up she would surely be dead. My dad offered to wait if she wanted to go inside and grab a few things before taking her to a friend’s house, a relative’s house, a shelter, anything but her home. Again she declined any help. She thanked my dad, went inside and we never saw her or her daughter again. I could tell my dad was worried about the woman and little girl, I could see he wanted to do more but also feared any more action on his part might cause them both greater harm. I know it still bothers him to this day that he didn’t do more but what else could he have done short of forcing this woman into another situation she may not have been ready for or wanted.
I’ve often thought about that woman and her daughter and wondered what became of them. Did the mother ever get away from her abuser, would her daughter ever feel safe around men or trusting of anyone?
Back to Nigella, if my dad had been there he would’ve called the police, he would’ve done something. It breaks my heart and find it infuriating that no one - not a single person called the police or intervened.
My dad is fucking awesome and very much tries to be a Good Samaritan.
We moved out of Chicago the day he saw a woman’s necklace yanked off her neck and he chased the thief only to have the guy point a gun at him.
He’s the kind of guy who quietly paid for a brand new wheelchair for my mom’s 1st cousin’s daughter (who lives in Mexico) who was born with cerebral palsy, when her family couldn’t afford a new wheelchair after she’d outgrown the old one.
He’s the kind of guy who gives without expecting praise or acknowledgement.
And he does it all in his Ray Ban aviators while riding a Harley.
I hope one day I’m rad as fuck, like my dad.