25, 26, 27, 28. Loving Your Neighbour

I need to take a break from the story of the monk for a moment.

The streets are flooded. We can’t park in front of our house, and we’ve got a 4 vehicle house. That’s a rant for another day. My fiancé parks down the street. I drive by his car, park on a side street. From the time it took me to drive past his car to walk past it, someone has taken a large piece of cardboard and written in juvenile letters, “Fuck You”. I take a picture of it, one of the house in front of where he parked for reference, pulled the sign off his windshield, and threw it on the ground.

As he’s filing a police report, I look out my front window and can see that the sign has been picked up and put back on the car. I leave for work, take another picture of the sign, take it off again, and throw it on the ground. This time, I wait in my car to see if they’re dumb enough to come back and let me record them do it again.

I go to work.

Driving home, I park on the same side street, but this time I walk down the alley to get home because I don’t want to walk past the house. The parking space that my fiancé had occupied is empty.

I don’t know what motivated this. Likely it was an angry person wanting to park in front of their house. I get it. People park in front of my house all the time, and it frustrates me, and I park somewhere else. It’s a street. There’s no reservation.

So why am I triggered suddenly, recalling the voices of kids in elementary school telling me I should’ve been a girl, I wasn’t a boy; remembering being taunted by kids younger than I was, “fag”. I was held down in high school, and my head sat on. A hallway full of people did nothing. Said nothing. Looked the other way. Swimming at a pool on vacation, an elderly couple snickered and whispered about me. The truck load of young men, throwing balloons filled with urine at me when I walked home from work, only to collapse in the shower in tears. Being told that queerness was weakness, an excuse that got in the way of profit and being productive, and actually…*actually*…believing in ultra-conservative ideology because my co-workers encouraged it, believed it.

How many years was I not authentic because I was afraid of the harm that would come to me?

Now, I’m afraid to live on my street. I’m afraid to walk past the house of someone who may or may not have put a cardboard sign on my fiancé’s very queer car–like the most out, rainbow covered car.

I look down the street at the one house that proudly displays a PPC sign in the window, and wonder how many others on our street are quietly in agreement.

I know I should have faith, I know that I should trust God. I know that my vocation challenges me not to be overcome.

I’m afraid to live in Regina, because there are more and more people who see my existence as the reasons their lives are shit.

I’m afraid of how dangerous right wing cowards are, what can be done in the dark to property, to pets, to family.

And I’m tired.

25, 26, 27, 28. Loving Your Neighbour

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