My hair is blue and I’m walking around town. It’s an adventure, because I have yet to explore these streets. I feel it, and I embrace it. My guitar is pressing on my back, adding more heat to an already burning hot day, creating even more sweat. The fabric of my dress is moist. Penang doesn’t care about that, she embraces me softly but thoroughly.
“So, what are you?” she asks. Some kind of fascination glowing in her eyes. Confusion, maybe? She hasn’t been able to put me under a category yet.
“I’m nothing in particular, I am me. Sabrina.”
And then we laugh and sing and dance together, because we know that we are all one. We share heartbeats and energies, and souls and dreams. I’m living on top of a vegan restaurant and life is great.
Shadows. I feel them, I feel you. The lights are on me so I cannot see your faces. You are just a crowd of shadows. Beautiful, wonderful shadows with lovely energies and I do my best to suck it all in. Swim in it. I do feel you. This is not a performance. This is me. This is us, together. Thank you for being brave enough to let me see your souls, and for seeing mine.
I ask for pieces of them. Lights on me. I ask for pieces of you, and you sit silently. Then, you give me everything. A pair of eyes that never look away, I feel terrified and safe at the same time. “I hesitate, I have to look away”. No. Guard down and the reward is immediate. We will never be the same again, after this. We will be entwined.
8 months and more have passed. Since the airport in Singapore. Since she disappeared into security check and I had to let her go. People stared more than usual as I broke down in the middle of it all. It was one of the hardest things I have had to go through, because I only had myself, and at some point I had to pick myself up from the floor of Changi Airport. They had no idea.
It makes me insecure to write about these things and so far I haven’t been able to. But it’s a part of this trip and one of the biggest reasons for me to have stayed in Melaka for this long. I needed time to put things back together, and at the same time be more creative in the making of myself. I still need time, but I can’t stay here.
And I feel like a million lifetimes have passed, like I was sucked into a whirling storm of.. anything. Everything. Nothing. We are leaving. And after this we will be going to new places, where you haven’t been. Where none of us have been. It’s the second half of the journey; the journey back to Sweden. Back home.
In San Francisco last year, a man stabbed a woman in the face and arm after she didn’t respond positively to his sexually harassing her on the street.
In Bradenton, Fla., a man shot a high school senior to death after she and her friends refused to perform oral sex at his request.
In Chicago, a scared 15-year-old was hit by a car and died after she tried escaping from harassers on a bus.
Again, in Chicago, a man grabbed a 19-year-old walking on a public thoroughfare, pulled her onto a gangway and assaulted her.
In Savannah, Georgia, a woman was walking alone at night and three men approached her. She ignored them, but they pushed her to the ground and sexually assaulted her.
In Manhattan, a 29-year-old pregnant woman was killed when men catcalling from a van drove onto the sidewalk and hit her and her friend.
Last week, a runner in California — a woman — was stopped and asked, by a strange man in a car, if she wanted a ride. When she declined he ran her over twice.
FUCK YOU if you think that street harassment is a “compliment” or “no big deal” or that it’s “irrational” of us to be afraid because “what’s actually gonna happen.” Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you some more.
This night I drink my tea and I wait for tomorrow. Recordings at midnight, for the album. The company of individuals who treat us with love and warmth. Today I saw someone with a patch on her bag that said “veganism”. I was overjoyed and wanted to say “Hi, I like your bag” but didn’t catch her in time. Being one of the only vegans in town.. you have no idea how ridiculously happy this made me. The thought of there being more vegans out there. “Please become my bezt friend forevah”, the vegan in me cried.