I should not read feminist theory before I go to bed. I should read, oh hell. I don’t know what the fuck I should read. The night before last it was an economics book. Before that it was a book on Enterprise Architecture.
I put the book down and turned off my light and a memory popped into my head. An older colleague, it was a work situation that had gone terribly sideways, and she cocked her head to the side and asked if I really didn’t know how fucking powerful I was.
Then I couldn’t sleep.
Which is why you shouldn’t read feminist theory.
I spent the night at the Clockmaker’s, mostly because he asked and because I had to be at a meeting on that side of the city anyway and as we were falling asleep, I told him about Exhibit A’s blog about things that people left behind at his place. I told him that I never, ever leave things behind.
That morning, as I was leaving his condo, he called out the window to me. He had to call out the window because he couldn’t call my phone. I’d left my damned phone on his kitchen counter next to the coffee maker. I apologized profusely, he kissed me goodbye again. He texted about an hour later, asking if the pills I left on his bedside table were important. It turns out that they were, so he dropped them off at my office. Two days later he commented that he liked the red bra, but it really didn’t fit him.
He was more than good humoured about it – he thought it was hilarious. It really bothered the hell out of me.
I am pathological about not leaving things behind. I have felt strange leaving non latex condoms for next time. I say – not entirely jokingly that all that should remain is the smell of my perfume. (I don’t wear a lot anyway).
To leave things behind is to create a connection. It connects the past to the present, it means you have to follow the strings back. It creates an obligation that someone may not actually want. I can’t do it accidentally. I’m not sure I want to do it purposely.
The colleague, the one who asked if I understood how powerful I was, she became a friend. She still rides me – about how I make myself small and weightless – how I deliberately diminish my power as a woman and never as a professional. She’s not wrong.
She tells me that I can’t do it forever. You can’t be weightless forever.
I think she’s probably right.