First, he insulted Detroit.
Her name was Kenickie. She was wearing a red basketball tank with the words “Detroit vs. Everybody” printed boldly across her prominent chest. A design by Tommey Walker; purchased on Monroe St., Detroit City proper, just last week. It was a birthday present to herself.
Mister Connecticut – 33 years old, white and sufficiently educated -implored her to name just one good thing that ever came out came out of Detroit. Her eyes narrowed – just one?
Henry Ford and the American Automotive Industry.
The $5/day – The Middle Class.
MOTOWN at large.
Great minds and great talent -
Francis Ford Coppola.
Elaine Stritch and
Jack and his White Stripes.
Movers and shakers and
Me, mother fucker.
But those are just some of my favorites.
The conversation came to a halt when he whispered he prefers “his cities” less “Urban” – to which Kenickie replied -
if you insist on
speak from the diaphragm so
we can hear you.
Mister Connecticut found some pleasure in pissing her off, it didn’t matter that the context of their relationship was Professional. Ask anyone – Kenickie, when pissed off, can’t seem to keep her mouth shut. It’s rather entertaining, in fact; she’s on a self-appointed one woman mission to make extinct all ignorance.
“You know, little lady,” he chirped, “when it comes to feminism and all that. You know, you know, it’s just a fact that women can’t do all the things that men can do.”
It’s a fact,
that men can’t do all the things that women can do.
Later that day, Kenickie entered the break room, popping a squat comfortably on the wooden floor. Mister Connecticut and her pal Mopsy rocked on the hind legs of 2 folding chairs in the mid-afternoon heat. Mopsy asked her if she’d like a proper seat, but Kenickie was content to finish her snack of hummus and crackers right where she was.
“That’s cuz she spends a lot of time on her knees,” Mister Connecticut sneered. Mopsy might have gasped a little, cartoonishly, his eyes wide. “What?” Mister Connecticut continued. “I thought you wanted to be one of the guys…” His voice trailed to a whisper. She took a deep breath, her face burning red.
I’m going to say this
so that you understand me.
This is the only warning I will give.
Don’t talk about me and fellatio
or we will have a problem.
Kenickie liked to use the clinical term for giving brain while reducing her harasser to the equivalent of a poorly behaved child. She added -
I have no desire to be
one of your guys.
Mister Connecticut apologized, nervously, sincerely – maybe because she stood up for herself; maybe because he was afraid of being fired. Kenickie blinked,
I appreciate your apology.
But then she fluttered away, because her heart rate was increasing. Her subconscious, by way of her hands, had successfully mangled, destroyed the paper plate that once held rice crackers and a smear of white bean hummus.
Why the fuck did I say thank you?
Is it me? Riled and angry and ready for your fight?
I refuse to be anyone’s cliche.
It’s not as if his words can hurt me.
I’m old enough, wise enough,
to know that they’re empty.
it’s my younger, wounded
American girl that’s crying for justice
and painting her soap box
purple and gold
to unleash this wild Warrior Goddess
all over the goddamned Internet and to say to the young, wounded
that ignorance is everywhere but
the silly boys that spit it
don’t mean shit.
Detroit lives and word on the street is you shouldn’t fuck with Kenickie Sunshine.
History knows not the depths of her strength.