On the second-to-last day of class, I stood in the life drawing studio with the class and drew from the model pose. At some point Linda stood outside with two other women and they talked about tattoos. Linda said in an icy tone that her boyfriend had a tattoo of,,, whatever his tattoo was. Linda then came into the class, stood near me, and stomped her feet in a demonstrative manner. I took this to mean she was, like, stomping on my heart, because that's what it felt like.
I'd cut Sara loose a couple of weeks earlier, and I was determined to stick to my guns on that one. So, I continued to make it about Linda through the Fall semester when I would go to the art building to talk to teachers about grad school. I saw Linda at graduation in the winter, and I called her once a few days later and asked her out. She said yes, but that she had a boyfriend. I declined her invitation of friendship, because I felt my feelings were too strong for her.
I worried all the while after that about my strong feelings for Linda, because in those days trouble seemed to find me rather easily. One day in June, my mom asked me to get rid of a stump in a yard of a rent house she owned. When she told me the house's location, the street corner, I recognized it as a location near Linda's house. The way my mom had a touched, pleading manner about her when she said the house's location led me to believe that Linda had had contact with her at some point.
My gesture towards Linda, when I had called her and then said I had to let her go, had come off as very sweet to many people. I had a way of making these women feel valued by me at these kind of awkward times, because these gestures I performed came after the object of my desire had been very cruel to me somehow.
Anyway, when my mom told me the address of the rent house, I lost it, kind of. I got a little axe, and at the rent house I would wave the axe and shake my fist in the direction of Linda's house as I tried to chop the stump up. There was a middle-aged Latina woman in the yard of the house next door with a couple of small kids. Sometime during my display she seemed to rush the kids inside.
From what I gather now, Linda had heard about this incident from this neighbor, and connected it to herself. So, what was meant to be a gesture that would only have meaning for me became something else entirely. All these years later, I connected some disparate attempts to attack me in myriad ways to this incident. I've talked about the Invisible Woman and all of that, and the belief I had last fall that I had an internet presence that I did not create myself and that I did not consent to.
This last deal I talked about lately, the latest Unavailable Woman Deal, I wonder. Is that tied to this incident from so many years ago? Something of consequence that may have happened from that incident in my mom's yard, is that Linda may have miscarried. That would certainly explain the depth of vindictive animosity I seem to have run up against.
Last Winter, I introduced myself to Linda's ex-husband. I said to him that I'd had a run-in with Linda all those years ago. He kind of chuckled and then left the party with his wife. I don't know if this animosity towards me is as universal as those who would seek to attack me would like me to believe, if I'm to judge by Linda's ex-husband response to my attempt to broach the subject.
If remorse is a type of compassion, then I have compassion for Linda's plight all these years later, but all I can do is offer myself for an adult level dialogue, because no matter what did or did not happen all those years ago, I still have the right to defend myself against this weird feminine aggression that seems to come up from time to time.