Lord, I wish I could take credit for that line, but it was Poni who said it.
We're living in a scary time right now as our political leader taking office puts several of us back in a greater jeopardy than we have been in after, it seemed like, progress was being made. But politics aside...
It's scary being a woman, even as a strong, empowered woman I do fear for my safety at times. Thankfully, I haven't had the trouble in Los Angeles small town folk worried about. Honestly, I think ran into more issues with people growing up in Catt County NY than here.
Still, though, I am aware of the dangers and that is why I am ever so thankful for my friends.
One night in November, I had my feelings hurt and my heart a little broken. A stupid story with the same old Endless ending -- me sobbing in a place not meant to be cried in. This time it was the grass in front of "Olive Garden"** and this time I had friends taking care of me.
For a moment, I was left alone in the wet grass, shivering with tears running down my face while Criss ran inside to find Chelsea. A small crew headed back a house came out the gate to catch their Uber, I didn't know all of them, but I kept my head down in hopes of being invisible when I felt a hand on my shoulder and B-Rad say "Muffin, are you okay?" He knelt down to my level; I couldn't see his face in the shadows. I managed to say "Yeah, Criss is getting Chelsea." He took my hand, the rest of his crew were calling for him, and said "are you safe?" I confidently said "Yes, I'm just heartbroken." He hugged me quick and started towards the car. "Okay, but you're safe, right?" I said "Yes" again and returned an "I love you" that he yelled just before climbing in the Uber.
There are people in this community who go out of their way to make me feel like an outsider, like I don't belong among my friends.
For a while I would ask myself these questions because she made me believe maybe these people aren't my friends and I don't belong. Maybe I was wrong in feeling like I was finally starting to know who I am. She made me forget that night I sat outside in the cold, shaking from emotion, with Chelsea's sweater draped over my shoulders and Criss' jacket on top after B-Rad checked my safety, and Poni hugged me tight when we got inside, then Chivo and Amy walked beside me as we all left at the same time and Donnie held both my hands while saying "Muffin, I love you, how are you getting home?".
The moral of the story, maybe she's right, they aren't my friends because they're my family.
**The location is not actually Olive Garden, but for reasons the location name is being kept secret (unless you know where I'm talking about).