A Day Spent Living.

Let me tell you about a day that I had over the weekend. I woke up after sleeping for sixteen hours (have I mentioned how fun it is to have fatigue) feeling quite surprisingly refreshed. I was due to meet my friend Bridgin (I’m mentioning her by name because she complained that I never have before) for a catch up day.

One of my favourite things to do is to catch up with my friends over a meal, a coffee, a drink or a day of shopping. It’s even better if myself and my busy friends actually find time to do a combination of any of the above activities.

I got up, showered and dressed myself in a beautiful pink outfit (I’m enjoying wearing pink at the moment. I’ve learned that it compliments my hair). I got the bus into town and went to wait for a tram into the city centre. While I sat, checking out my reflection in the glass on the other side of the platform, I breathed a sigh. It was a nice moment.

I had earphones in, but they were faulty, meaning my music was playing at a frustratingly low volume. Two boys, about my own age stood nearby. One turned to the other and they had the following exchange.

Boy 1: I’d love to kill that (he blatantly points at me).

Boy 2: Yeah, with a shotgun.

Boy 1: No, with my own two hands.

I did what I always do. I sat staring straight ahead while two boys discussed taking my life. All they saw was a calm person sitting, looking (I presume) content. And I was content. In an effort to maintain that content feeling, I didn’t think about the fact that these boys seemed to think that my simply being in public was such an abomination that they wanted to murder me.

When the tram approached, I squished into a carriage with all of the Saturday shoppers and the two boys. I remained composed from behind my sunglasses as they giggled and continued to nudge and whisper to one another for the entire journey. Getting off the tram, I walked to the restaurant that I was meeting Bridgin in. I strutted confidently, like I always do as numerous people stared at me, like they always do.

When I arrived and sat opposite Bridgin I was overjoyed to see her. She told me about how she was getting a lot of stares that day. Bridgin is a breathtakingly beautiful girl and she often finds that middle aged women give her disapproving stares for this fact. As much as I hate that that happens, it means that she gets being stared at and there’s comfort in this fact for me. She was wearing an amazing outfit that day and although she was getting a lot of appreciative looks, Bridgin (like me) can tell which ones are disapproving.

We get lunch and I tell her about the boys who wanted to kill me. She scoffed and assured me that I’m better than them. She recognised that I wasn’t that phased and knew not to make a futile effort to comfort me when I was fine in the first place. I stood up to go to the bathroom and as I was walking back to the table, a woman who I reckon was about forty gave me a disapproving glare. I glared back at her as I strutted, feeling a little bit sick of getting stared at that day.

Bridgin and I went shopping and as I always do when I’m surrounded by clothing, I began to feel quite zen. When the shops were closed and we were both ready to rest our feet, we went to a bar to get coffees. We decided to sit outside as it was a mild evening and we began to discuss what we liked about one another (our friendship is somewhat weird like that).

Two little girls who couldn’t have been more than ten years old approached the fence surrounding the courtyard and started shouting at the customers asking to be sponsored for a competition. Everyone said no and we waited for them to ask our table. We both responded declining to sponsor the little girl and she whispered something to her companion. The following exchange then took place between us.

Girl: Excuse me? Are you a boy?

Me: Yes.

(Giggling from both of the girls)

Girl: Are you a boy who dresses in girl’s clothes?

Me: Yes.

(More laughter).

It was at this point that a waiter approached to ask the girls to leave. Bear in mind that this exchange was being shouted across a busy courtyard. Everyone around simply ducked their heads, not knowing how to respond. I can forgive this. I wouldn’t have known how to respond either. I still don’t.

Bridgin and I returned to expressing our love for one another. I didn’t think much about the exchange. When I leave the restaurant, I walk back towards my bus. A man shouts from across the road that he can see my penis in my skirt. I look down and realise that my binding is failing at its job and he can in fact see the outline of my penis. God forbid. Surprisingly I don’t feel self conscious. I strategically place my handbag until I can find a quick moment to adjust myself before returning to looking hot.

On the bus home I thought about my day. About the good aspects of it, but also the harassment that I had to face that day and the harassment that I have to face every day. For a minute, I got annoyed on my own behalf before I took out a book and read a few chapters. Then I felt fine. I returned to my empty apartment, where I ate dinner and drank a bottle of rosé before changing from one hot outfit to another. I put on some brown lipstick, fluffed up my hair and left the house again.

What a relaxing day at @laduree_dublin

A post shared by Laylah Beattie (@laybeattie) on

I met some friends in town where I laughed, told stories, danced and ate the biggest slice of pizza I’ve ever had. I was carefree for a few hours as I ran around animatedly enjoying myself. I had a great group of friends around me and I didn’t get any harassment. At one point, a boy approached me and attempted to get close to me. I turned to him and danced for a minute before turning away. I wasn’t interested.

I had a moment while I was packed amongst all of those sweaty dancers where I realised something. This is living. And living is the best revenge for the people who think that I shouldn’t. And living out in the world having wonderful experiences with wonderful people who want the best things for me is the best thing for me when people will point at me on the street and express their desire to murder me.

It feels good to live.


Read a week in my life here.


Watch my poem about the harassment that I experience below:


2 thoughts on “A Day Spent Living.

  1. Its amazing what people will say about you within earshot and you could dismiss what those boys said as just harmless banter. Or say ” forgive them lord for they know not what they do ” or just shrug and think ” oh well its just human nature. ” But lets face it , there is NO excuse for such ignorant and vile behaviour. I actually pity those people you encountered who responded with ignorance and fear instead of being thankful that their day was brightened by the mere sight of you.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Incidents of Disrespect. | Laylah Talks

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