My Name Ain’t Kate…

Reflections While I Work Part 1

I do not like you. In some moments, there is a bit of mutual admiration. We are both conniving. Survivors even. However, I still don’t like you. You in the collective sense. There are some individual yous where it goes beyond a generic dislike but stops short of hate. But there’s a few of you, a few that I cherish. I guess you bear a burden too. You’re left to be the shining examples of good in a sea of so much bleh.

We’re born. We grow older. We evolve. Change is the inevitable cliché yet exciting part of life. Most of us are born knowing love. Then we learn of shades and subtleties and disdain. I learned to dislike you when you decided you can impose your will and your vision of change ,or more typically stasis, on me. As far as I understand it, inevitability and my fate aren’t determined by well meaning men in untailored mass market suits trying to maintain their status quo. I am not one of yours. I will not be tamed. And just in case you haven’t figured it out, my name ain’t Kate.

I live a duality of being ignored and desired. My voice roars yet you pretend you did not hear me. The atrocities inflicted against me merit ticker line reports without further reporting. The mule of the world they call me. The dumping ground for your paperwork. Yet without me, your soul disappears. You lose the carrier of the harshest and most monotonous of humanity’s work. You miss out on the arms that cradle civilization. Your access to culture vanquishes and you are left with dregs instead of the richness that you have stolen to promulgate what you think is yours. Your rock. Your jazz. Your country. Even your “hip hop.” It would suffer without me being there. Yet you ignore me in public, and only whisper my desirability in dark corners, closed rooms, private texts, and emails.

I’d be lying if I said this hasn’t confounded me. Trust me,I have queried and googled and prayed about how to resign myself from this position. This wasn’t what I applied for. I’m fine just being me, making my own way and loving myself as I push forward. Yet you’re still there, menacing, determined that you will break my spirit, and make me yield. It’s a horribly pernicious attitude and I can’t wait till it’s beaten out of you.

You think you’ll outlast me? Trust me darling, if this is a fight to the finish then the bricks, babies, and bales I’ve shouldered have made me stronger than you. My femininity makes me wiser than you. I see your tricks and never fold. You forget my strength is an asset. You don’t remember that my wild womanhood is a plus. You fail to acknowledge it, so I’ll say it again. My name ain’t Kate. I’m not your shrew.