Making Room- On the T, In our World.

 

 

The two ladies standing beside me were as frustrated as I was. We had descended into the dark T station, waiting for the next train – way too long ago now. The trains kept coming and the crowds surrounding us kept pushing in. We had no way of making our way into any of the subway cars when they came to a stop and the doors slid open. Each train was packed. PACKED.

I wake to another morning’s headline news of allegations of sexual misconduct. I think of the woman who has had to guts to step forward and speak up. So many voices encouraging this vulnerability, but at the same time- so many voices saying BE QUIET. Was she worried that no one would believe her?

Bodies were pushed up against the glass and as each car pulled to a stop, I waited for the doors to open and people to fall out. But no one was going anywhere. Every passenger held on and stayed in.

We were stuck in the eternal wait. Absolutely no room.

Why so many women coming forward now? Can the world handle another story? Is there space for her truth? What will happen next? What will this accomplish? Will this be a step towards healing?

I didn’t know Boston. Moments ago now, I learned that not only was this Boston Marathon day, it was an all city celebration. Patriot’s Day here and apparently no one had to work. The Red Sox were playing, the marathoners were running, the college students were way ahead in the drinking and the crowds were unbelievable. The air was electric.

And right now, I was in a sticky situation.

Does the world really want to know the truth?

My only job today was to get to mile 22 outside the city. That was where I would wait to watch my husband sprint by with thousands of other runners. How would I get there if the T was 100% full each time it stopped? We had come this far and if I didn’t act, I would miss everything. As time passed, I became a student. I watched and learned. Here it was, if you want to get on— you had to force your way in.

I’m listening.   I want to know the truth.

Whatever it takes, I commanded my trembling self, you will do this.

My heart beat a little faster while I gave myself a pep talk. The women who shared in my earlier dismay had just made their way onto a stuffed train car. Now I knew for sure, it could and would be done.

I hear you.

The trains were busy and they were coming fast. The next one would be mine, no matter what.

SCREEETCH.

Eyes, ears and heart open now.

The metal car pulled up right to me. It was all I needed to know it was time. Faces pressed against the glass, glaring out, daring me to try and find a way in. Doors opened. I stride straight into a wall of people and claim my tiny bit of air, right inside the heavy door. Looking no one in the eye, I made sure every piece of my body had no chance of getting left behind as the doors snapped shut.

There is room for your story.

And just like that we were propelled down the tunnel together, a blur now. There was a reshuffling of hands and I found a spot on the sweaty pole to grasp and steady myself.

Together, onward.

T green line1-1269227

2 thoughts on “Making Room- On the T, In our World.

  1. Really nice, Lisa. You kept me with you for the whole time even though you were going down different tracks (trying to keep the metaphor or simile alive here). Or perhaps two parallel rails?

    I wrote something earlier this year about my own experience with men that friends and relatives would we would describe as “gropers” and how casually we said that word with a wry laugh. We lived with that naive acceptance all the time. I replay some of the things that happened with Wylie and am appalled that he got away with it with me. He never touched me, but he certainly was certainly inappropriate a lot. He walked around in his underpants with the flap flapping. He told me about his sexual adventures before marriage. He showed me naked pictures of Shirley. There were many things that I fought him on. Once when he had been drinking he started telling me how useless my father was, and how great my mom was as a worker. I objected strongly and the next day he told me that the night before he was as close to striking a woman that he had ever come.

    I think he thought I was a prude and was trying to get my goat, but I just let it pass for the most part. Sometimes now I have imaginary confrontations with him about his poor behavior and I am strong and confident. But I certainly was not that way most of my life. I let men say and do things which I should not have let pass without objecting

    Even a few years ago we were ending a Country Walkers trip and I gave hugs to all the other participants. One of the more weird men on the trip responding by grabbing my butt. And I didn’t haul off and slap him. I was so startled. One would think by the time someone is in their 60’s those kinds of things wouldn’t happen any more.

    I really hope that these things help us prepare younger women and men and children to be strong and respectful.

    Love you,

    Pam

    P.S. I was wondering if there was a story or article you might be interested in writing about Will’s teacher from last year. Just a thought. I still think about her.

    >

    Liked by 1 person

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