Being the High-Maintenance Friend

image of 2 faces, line drawing from an old book
image of 2 faces: I’m fine/ I am not fine

Why am I contacted by folks, maybe well intentioned with good manners who butter their bread just like me, asking if I’m going to the latest event or protest or march-but I am never asked, if I am ok. If I am still sick. If I can walk/stand to make it to an event. If being out in the sun or around cars will make me sneeze and will maybe trigger my lupus, make my face and lips bleed?

Why is the question never do you have enough money for gas?

I am up front on most social media fronts about being poor. Poor as in I am on food stamps. Poor as in, sometimes I don’t eat so the kids can eat.

I am pretty open about being chronically ill.

I am pretty open about living with high/anxiety and depression.

I am open about all these things.

Why are the interactions never, there will be kids there, so you won’t feel out of place w/ your daughter or son there. Or there are chairs in case you’re back is out/or you are in pain. Or, bring an umbrella, the sun is hella fierce out there. Or, I’ll hang out with out with you in back where there are less people?

Do I live in some parallel world where I am open about my life and those around me who invite me to places and want me to read and attend (okay I am no longer invited to read at places and when I am they are not free venues, can we have that discussion later?) but not align who I am with what they ask of me but more importantly how they see me.

How do they see me?

Don’t do this either: don’t stop inviting folks who are single mothers or who are sick or have daily pain or social anxiety to places or events and don’t stop asking to hang. The amount of invitations to read, do poetry, be part of a protest or demonstration have clearly decreased as I have gotten sicker, (in all ways that sick can be interpreted). The amount of times folks have wanted to hang are clearly less as my children got older (and my answer had been no childcare-I don’t have it, or I am sick, or asking how big the crowd was going to be or how many people were going to be in attendance).

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Noemi
admin & queen at Hermana Resist Press

Noemi is a sirena, poet-curandera living in South Texas. A writer, cultural critic and historian, she enjoys paints, gesso, tattoos and eating.


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