hardly having any news of them


“Are your ready to see this patient?” asked my attending.

This patient was a young mother-to-be, otherwise healthy with her first baby on the way. I had hardly conducted any prenatal checks myself nor led a gynecological exam. I was vaguely familiar with the questions I should ask and distantly comfortable with the physical exam maneuvers I was to perform.

I had done them before, once, in a time that seemed so far past. Mentally, I weighed the pros and cons of leading this appointment. The cons seemed to stack up. 

“Are you ready?” echoed in my head.

The hollow spaces hissed back, “No.”

She withered into a sliver of a woman after I told her the news, “Stage 4 pulmonary adenocarcinoma. You have lung cancer that has spread throughout your body.” 

“But I was so healthy?” you could see her life decisions replaying in her eyes through a lens of doubt, questioning everything.

“I am incredibly sorry. I honestly don’t know what to say.”

So I sat there while she delicately sobbed her regrets away. My hand reached out and held hers. I’d occasionally add prognostic words - chemo, palliative, radiation, family - but they just evaporated into the room’s dark cloud.

“I’m not ready for this.” her eyes pleaded with mine.

She texted me, “We need to talk.”

It’s amazing how a cliche can make your heart drop.  

“Not me, not right now. I just can’t.”

My brain replayed everything - the memories, the laughs, the chemistry. After all that? How? Why? 

I put my fingers to the phone’s keyboard. 

There was about a 20 story drop between me and the rushing river below. I was perched on a small metal grate that jutted out the side of an old bridge. It was a crisp winter day, clear skies, and nothing but the sounds of nature around me.

It was a beautiful day to jump.

The man who jumped before me screamed the entire way down. I wondered if I would do the same.

The only thing connecting me to the bridge was a thick bungee cord. I got into a squatting position so I could explode out into swan dive as beautifully as possible. My friend held a camera to record everything.

Behind me, the jumpmaster yelled instructions, “THREE. TWO. ONE. DIVE.”

“No one is ever ready.” I thought. I led that appointment.

“No one is ever ready.” I whispered back. I never saw her again.

“No one is ever ready.” I texted back. She never responded.

“No one is ever ready.” I jumped. I loved the rush.

We are never ready. We are never one-hundred percent.

It’s the missing percentage that makes life thrilling, worth loving, worth living, worth trying. 

And, God, I hope you try.

We’re never believed when we talk about racism in fandom and people are just so eager to silence us.

I’m on the “fandom racism” tag on tumblr because I occasionally do like to find new people to block when I see this blogger talking about the white women in fandom doing shipping olympics to justify not shipping Spider-Man with Zendaya!MJ. 

Their next post in the tag comes from some anon fussing at them, accusing themof generalizing and blaming a “vocal minority” in the same anonymous message. (”hardly any white girls probably even care about spider-man” the anon said as if a majority of transformative fandom isn’t made up of white women and therefore, the spider-man fandom has a ton of white women in it)

Nevermind that people have been shitting on Zendaya since the second that the news dropped (and btw, it’s still not official news from Sony/Marvel).

 Nevermind that the Thor fandom is now pretending that it cares about Jane Foster in order to excuse misogynoiristic complaints about Tessa Thompson playing Valkyrie and possibly playing Thor’s love interest. 

Nevermind that every time a Black woman is cast as a white character, white men derride her appearance and white women dismiss her character and act as if she’s unworthy of being in a relationship with the white fave she’s undoubtedly cast opposite. 

Nevermind that already I’ve seen female members of fandom talking about how “it’d be nice to have a Spider-Man movie where Mary Jane doesn’t have a love interest” (like Homecoming already doesn’t have that!!).

When we (fans of color and anti-racist allies) talk about the racist abuse we see directed towards, fans, actors, and racebent characters of color, the first thing we see is their outstretched hands demanding “proof” and acting like making up racism is like a thing people actually do. 

It pisses me off so hard because right now, we’re getting it from two sides: members of “mainstream” fandom constantly crapping all over Black women as if it’s their job and (largely female) members of transformative fandom who’ve learned to couch their racism and hatred of women of color in social justice rhetoric so it looks like they’re fighting for us, not against us. 

And even though you can look at Twitter, in tumblr tags, and google this shit, people are still like “I don’t see why you’re complaining, it’s not a big deal”. 

Our anger is reactionary. We are reacting to endless racism aiimed towards fans, characters, and creators of color. If you sincerely believe that the right thing to do when faced with this reality is to demand proof and get mad when it’s given?

You can fuck right off.