Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Looks like my surgery date may need to be pushed back, as email contact with Dr. Brownstein indicates that they're currently scheduling from mid-July onward, whereas I was hoping to book a date for the middle of June. It would just be much more convenient for me to go in June, before Fleury goes to Europe, and before the summer really starts happening, giving me enough time to heal up a bit to maybe hit the beach a little in August (with some hardcore zinc sunscreen for sure! I'm gonna take good care of my scars). I just have to remind myself that waiting another month or six weeks will not be the end of the world. And on the bright side, it does give me more time to rustle up the necessary liquid assets for the procedure!

Fleury and Ponsor helped me brainstorm fundraising ideas the other night. Some of them seem excellent (put one of those fundraiser thermometers on the kitchen wall for inspiration, ask for donations at my Maniversary party in April), some seem good, but may not be feasible (host a karaoke night at Suite as a benefit) and some seem a little ridiculous, but hey, who knows? (Buy a keg, have a beer pong tournament with all entry fees going towards the beer and Eli's surgery)
We came up with these ideas on the train on the way to Great Barrington the other night, which was the source of the latest and greatest disappointment of the past few days. We got up to the Rock late Saturday night, in time to join the dance party as it got into full swing, and it was weird enough being at SRC, for a host of reasons that aren't particularly relevant, but I had a particularly unpleasant time Saturday night because not 4 minutes after I walked in the door, a (probably well meaning but nonetheless horrid and intoxicated) girl came rushing over to me, calling out my old name, and declaring at top volume that she hadn't seen me in ages, and "Girl, how have you BEEN?"

Um, well, miserable now, thanks.

I disentangled myself as quickly as possible and went upstairs to try to compose myself, which proved unusually difficult, and honestly, I remained in a pretty bad state all night. I wasn't sure why- I mean, I don't like being called 'she' but I don't usually cry about it. I just couldn't be cheerful or comfortable for the rest of the night, though, and it was only when I snuck away to go sit by myself in the Pibly lounge for a bit and try to snap out of my funk that I had some thoughts about why I might have gotten so upset.

I think it might have had something to do with the loss of Simon's Rock as a safe space for me. For the last four years, the Rock has been as much a home to me as anywhere else, someplace I've always felt safe, and comfortable, and familiar. I was well known, I knew my way around, I knew what to expect, and I could expect to be happy and comfortable.

It was one of the things about SRC that was most valuable to me, and that I really treasured- it's one of the main reasons I didn't transfer, and it's something that always drove home for the me the importance of the work the Race Task Force does, because knowing that students of color generally don't feel safe and comfortable like that at SRC is terrible and terribly unfair.

Saturday night, though, exemplified at last in one clear incident something that I'd been slowly realizing last fall when I went up to the Rock most weekends, which is that SRC is not that safe place for me anymore. And sure, some of it is the usual stuff of graduating, and leaving a place, and nothing is ever the same, etc. Jenny and Anne were commiserating with me on that one all weekend.

But for me, there's another level, in that I am not fully known and accepted as Eli at Simon's Rock, like I am pretty much everywhere else in my life. Moreover, Emma was such a strong presence there that it's hard to get people to shift their paradigms around me.

Sara Monsonis reminded me that the Rock is not really a place, it's the people at it; when I say that I don't feel comfortable there, I have to remember that there are a lot of people- like everyone I spent time with on Sunday- with whom I am comfortable and happy. It's just that I never know, rounding a corner on campus, who I'm going to run into, and how they're going to react to me, and that keeps me very off balance and, clearly, more emotionally fragile.

And it just makes me sad. I love(d?) the Rock, and I miss that safe place.

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