As I took a nice cool shower after a packed day, I gently recollected moments and mulled them
around in my mind.
This morning I woke at 7:20 a.m. with the mission to find and purchase shilling (25 cents) sized Bristol board, red marker, duct tape, shilling waters, make signs and be out there at the battlefield park to rally the troops and issue signs by 9:30 a.m.
It seemed like a mammoth task, but it had to be done.
Briheda Haylock, the artist who organised and conceptualised the event, sent all the instructions from Indonesia, where she is currently studying, invited women to attend through messenger and email, and even had materials at her mom's work.
This was all perfect but as I am in the heat of assisting with our guerilla styled women in art, as this year there isn't the annual state planned and organised women in art exhibit in Belize City, plus my first solo show, I never thought to ask where her mom worked until I was where I thought it was.
So I just winged it today. Hustled to Brodies, got the materials, forgot the tape and waters. Got a lift to downtown Belize City, and got the tape, went to my mom's office, AC-ed and quiet and scribbled the 30 signs I thought that I would have needed.
I gave my mom a nice tight hug, and I thought, one day, I'll burden her less.
I ran downstairs and there was the crew, so far Debra Lewis and Renee Wentz. I greeted them and rushed to get waters.
Back, we video chatted with Briheda quickly to tell her we were getting ready, with the data that I asked the BTL costumer service representative for help purchasing.
And at 10 a.m. we were ready, well, almost. Debra and Renee were concerned about making the art action seem like a typical "foreigner initiative" which I completely understand, but it was 10: 02 a.m. and counting, my anxiety can be faulted for most of my quirks but one advantage is surely concern for punctuality and keeping one's word.
So I crossed the street alone, mouth taped, with sign "Children Can Not Consent" and my phone in hand, ready to go LIVE on Facebook.
Of course as I stood there, I wondered if I would stand there 2 hours alone, if people would finally think, I had lost my shit for real this time.
And I thought about myself for a bit, fired from yet another job, hair wild, jeans too tight, a mess. I'm sure that was what I radiated.
Very soon though Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow and her staffers from the Special Envoy for Women and Children came, a student from SJCJC, a student from UB and others. Debra and Renee crossed the street and we were 13 or 14.
Even Cynthia Williams of the Department of Human Development came.
We stood. The sun shone and scorched and hid behind clouds and still we stood.
People passed, some were kind, some were lewd, some looked down, but everyone, everyone looked.
Of course later the media came with media questions, I tried to answer as smartly as I could without falling victim to the emotionality of all this.
Well some women are killed by lovers, beaten by husbands, put on Belizean Cheaters by burned exes. Children are raped, unfortunately many children are raped. And here I was, well here we were with signs and hashtags on social media.
If I can hope for anything it is that we change culturally. Revolutionise our views on gender and youth and what is ok and what isn't.