Bleeding As We Breathe

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

That’s how Daniel the back waiter got cursed out at Posi two. Maybe he asked one too many questions, although from my recollection it was just the one. I answered him. I was in the middle of doing something before he interrupted me. He was a short, sturdy man who came up to my boobs, with slicked back hair and a quiet intelligence. Unlike others he didn’t have a Napoleonic complex, he didn’t need to prove himself.

The room was painted bright sunny oranges and yellows, but I wasn’t feeling like a ray of sunshine due to our exchange. Truthfully I’ll never know what was said, but I know I felt a way, especially after what he did next.
“Listen don’t take offense, but are you on your period or something?”
No this nigga did not. I could feel the hot rage behind my eyes as I narrowed in on him. This must be how predatory birds feel going in for the kill.

“Just because I respond a certain way doesn’t mean “I’m on my period, or something’. Do you know how sexist that is? And actually, for your information I’m not! I don’t know Daniel, it could be that I’m a human being expressing myself. Women are allowed to be angry without being invalidated. That’s just like telling me to smile. You wouldn’t say that to a man.”
“Ah, no it’s not,” he placidly refuted.
“Ah yes it is. Men can feel anyway they want without question, yet women have to be happy all the time, or we have our periods,” I finished the statement in a baby voice showcasing his infantile thinking.
“Alright, I’m sorry geez,” he walked away with more than he bargained for and nothing at all.

I finished up, then raced to the bathroom. Just in time too, I got my period. I gasped in utter shock. By my calculations it wasn’t suppose to arrive for days. Thank god I carry spare tampons. I’m one of those just in case people.

Atonement was necessary. Daniel was a good worker. All the servers competed for him to be assigned to their section, giving him leverage. He got to choose and he always chose me. Unless our strength needed to be divided throughout the restaurant on super busy nights. Proactive, always early, a Pratt alumni who lit up hearing my sister was a student; he boasted about attending with Robert Mapplethorpe. He had a daughter he loved more than anything, he was the best, until he relapsed on crack. But that was a little bit further along. I scouted him out to apologize, I’m accountable and he was deserving.

“Oh my god Daniel, I’m so sorry. I literally just got my period. How did you know?”
“It’s okay. You were acting different.”

Upon reflection it dawned on me, this wasn’t the first time a hispanic male coworker tracked my cycle. Nor was it the last. It wasn’t creepy, but in my experience hispanic men are extremely intuitive. They be knowing. I wanted to know too, but none of them ever gave me an explanation on what different meant.

This doesn’t mean a blanket statement should be made about women across the board, everyone is different, but apparently I’m nuts. Which goes to show that women overachieve with little to no credit. We clearly go through a hormonal shift, bleeding as we breathe and still, we do more than most men with no days off. RESPECT US, you can’t handle this continuous pain (as shown during male birth control trials) and still run the fucking show to be underpaid. Normalize menstruation without stigma. Via: Cecile Hoodie