Day 13 – Now it’s a Thing

Sunday, September 13, 2009
Day 13
10:58 pm- 11:58 pm

Now it’s a Thing

i was cleaning
cleaning off the kitchen counter
it suddenly looked incredibly cluttered
since we took down the screen
separating the living from the kitchen areas
but we had to
the kitten was feasting on the lovely paper screen
and using it as climbing practice
i’d rather us take it down
as opposed to coming home one day
to find that Ollie had beaten us to it
but as soon as we lowered and rolled it up, bam
the entire living room was exposed to tiny
mountains of mess atop the counter
that had previously looked manageable
if not like it had designated-zone clearance
away from the socializing on the other side

and so the screen is gone, that’s fine
it’s wide open again
i can see clear to the front door from
the kitchen sink and i can see the TV
right from the counter
and the guys sitting right
across from me and that’s cool
i could talk directly to them instead of
through the screen
even though they were too busy anyway
between a laptop, cell phone, kitten,
and ESPN, hurriedly discussing some
old controversy of one of the players
who just made a comeback
to defend her title at the U.S. Open
Women’s Final and it sounded like she
said something really terrible years ago
to a line judge but i guess she took off
for a few years, had a baby, and came
back, and won all over again.
i wonder what the hell she said to get
a $10,000 fine

“I’ll take this ball and…”
What?
i didn’t catch the whole thing that Greg
just read to Ryan.
Say that again?
“I’ll take this ball and shove it down
your fucking throat.”
Whoa. Okay, that’s uncalled for, i guess
that does deserve a fine.
i’m thinking i’d like to see more of what
they’re talking about
Some crazy tennis player from Germany,
or somewhere
but i had to stay focused here
since i just got through a home-and-life-
organizing workshop with
organized.by jenny
and we all agreed to the mantra she shared
“Clutter = Delayed Decision-Making”
So i was facing myself in the kitchen
inspired to tackle these little piles
and i could watch it all online later

Some German girl who went nuts
Whatever.
Hopefully she sought out some counseling
i guess that’s why she’s back
i guess that’s why she’s talking about
how grateful she is to be the “wild card”
at the Open this year
And, before i knew it, i
looked across the counter
and i was done
Old snacks thrown away,
fliers and playbills recycled,
scripts and poems and itineraries put away
of course in a different pile
of course not on the kitchen counter
but hey, consolidation occurred and
i felt relieved and able to return
to the conversation
And i hadn’t missed much,
they were still talking about
on-court antics.
I see that Greg’s moved on to Youtube
to see about other players with similar situations
I see that Serena Williams had some
kind of situation

Serena said something before, too?

What?

Serena said something to a line judge
during a match, too?

Yeah.
She said, “I’ll take this ball and shove it down
your fucking throat.”

What? WHAT?

was all i could say

It was her? HER?

Oh god,
i think
Here, this whole time
i was happily cleaning the kitchen thinking
i’m getting somewhere with this mess
i’m really getting somewhere
and
what?
I’ll take this ball and what and
that’s just crazy but
whatever
some white girl who just said shit
and went off to get better and have a baby
but this whole time
they were talking about
Serena. SERENA.

And they replayed the Youtube video
for me and

OH GOD.
The line judge was Asian.
Oh god, not ASIAN

Oh no.

Oh god,
I hope she’s not Korean,
is what i think
Or an immigrant,
is what i think next

Because, really,
this just happened yesterday
and i look at this video again,
and again.
And shit just hit the fan.
And now it’s a thing.
It’s a Thing.
It’s a goddamn THING.

People saying things from all sides.
Crazy people calling Serena crazy
because she’s Black
Serena’s father calling people on
the same old shit
Serena fans dissing the Asian line judge
for looking scared, acting scared
Maybe accusing her, saying she was
lying about threatening statements
the cameras supposedly did not pick up
Picking in to people’s memories of
overreacting immigrant Asian women
or overreacting Black women
depending on who you’re talking to

And i didn’t care really care when it was
some lady from Germany.
But it wasn’t and now it’s a thing and this
just happened yesterday.

And i wonder what the hell people will
be saying tomorrow.

traci kato-kiriyama

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About traciakemi

traci akemi kato-kiriyama - inter/multi-disciplinary theatre/performance artist, arts educator, cultural worker, community organizer. Tuesday Night Project; theatre, performance, writing, and teaching projects with many organizations and artists including: zero 3; Edge of The World for Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia and the National Asian American Theatre Festival in New York; "PULL" with Kennedy Kabasares in San Francisco; Nobuko Miyamoto and Great Leap Collaboratory I; TeAda; NCRR; Oymun's 11. Playwright for "Chasing Dad - a performance of a reading about a play i'm writing" presented by Inside the Ford for the Ford's Summer Playwright series. View all posts by traciakemi

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