August 7, 2012

Nothing seems to have significantly changed about the bathroom situation there.

The woman in the top bunk of the bed of which I have the bottom bunk put her legs over the side of her bunk and was looking like she wanted to get to the floor a couple of nights ago.  I moved the chair over so that she could step onto it and then onto the floor.

When she got back from wherever she went to and got back into her bed, she started the coughing.

I didn’t appreciate that, although I didn’t say anything.  She kept doing it, and I did something that I don’t usually do.  I knocked my hand into the bottom part of her bed, so that she’d know that I wanted her to stop.

She didn’t stop, so I said “I didn’t have to move the chair for you.”

The chair had been moved away from the bed by someone else by then, and she stopped coughing for the rest of the night.

Last night, I saw her when I got back to the shelter.  I said “You’re in the bunk above me?”  She said “Yes; you hit my bed last night?”   She neglected to mention that she’d been harassing me.  I didn’t answer her; she coughed loudly and incessantly for maybe an hour.  She’s an obese black woman with short hair.  She also coughed some more in the dorm last night, and kicked my bed when she walked past it this morning.

There’s another obese woman there, a white woman, who coughed loudly and incessantly for hours last night.  I didn’t know who it was until I saw her sit up in her bed this morning and start coughing again.  She has red hair which looks as if it’s been partially dyed.

Everyone has to do a chore in the morning at that shelter, which I think is a good thing.  Sometimes people get given two chores to do.

This morning, a tall black woman, who seems to be of proportionate height and weight, and who is also someone who coughs at me, took my chore.  The chores get listed on a piece of paper that gets put on the front desk every morning; a staffperson assigns them at night.  There’s a list of chores and then a place to a bed number next to each chore.

The woman who took my chore was given two chores this morning; it seems to me that she saw what my bed number was, saw that I only had one chore, knows that I get abused, and decided that she would take my one chore rather than do the two that she was supposed to do.

A chore is not that big of a deal.  What I’m trying to illustrate is that what I’m going through isn’t just sexual harassment; it leads to being abused and taken advantage of in other ways.

Copyright L. Kochman, August 7, 2012  @ 3:44 p.m.