"Change that face honey. "
I keep my face strait. Same pace. Less air in my lungs.
"Did you hear me?"
All the Same. Just don't turn. Don't.
As I walk away the voices are fading. Though not fast enough, as I feel now, like I'm choking. Take a breath, Sasha. Take a breath.
Three guys. Leaning on a fence. Mid day, Williamsburg. Should I turn? What will I say? What do I want to say?
'Let me ask you a question - why do you feel compelled to harass women on the street like this?' And then what? He is way too old for this kind of lesson. I could say 'I swear to god I'll fuck you up so bad...' I envision myself punching his cheekbone with my ring and busting his face.
The voices still follow me. I block what they are saying. It's been a while since I've experienced something like this. I'm mad and I'm so, so tough. Keep my head up. Then from nowhere, the tears start gathering in my big eyes. I shake my head to hold them in, wondering to why THIS one rubbed me in such a different way.
My uncontrollable reaction leads me to believe It's the distance we still have to walk towards equality. It's the gap between objectifying and respecting we have to bridge, which seems almost impossible. It's this terrifying time before one of the most crucial elections in America and I can't even vote. It makes me so sad to feel the pain of ALL women. I think about the lump in the throats of each and every one of us during those moments we ALL experienced. The inability to speak.
A few hours later I go to a bar in the East Village for a friend's birthday. It's an old-school place. Good energy. Pretty quiet. I wait patiently before I get the bartenders attention.
All of a sudden an arm around my shoulder. Smell of booze. Close body. I think it is Mathias. It's not.
"All right" I mumble and move away. He doesn't even respond. Drunk. Shit faced as they say. Americans. The money makers. The pussy grabbers.
I go to the back room to find my friends. We sit around a big, round wooden table and talk about our job as artists. Robert says it's to bring the light back. After just finishing the article about Leonard Cohen in the New Yorker earlier, I suddenly remember -
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in
Somehow it softens me and I believe it is indeed my job.