I walk out of my classroom, smile at a few people, and step out of the building into the stone courtyard. The sky is already dark and it’s not even 6 PM. The wind howls around me and I try to hold down my hair as strands tries to blind and suffocate me. The cold nips at my fingers and cheeks. The back of my right hand is already cracked, even after I liberally rub moisturiser on my hands during class. I curse at myself for not bringing a heavier jacket, stuffing my hands into my pockets. My left palm brushes against the spare change for the extra cup of coffee that I thought I might need. It’s cold. Heck, it’s fucking freezing.

It’s already December. Where did the time go?

#MeToo. I remember that night. Coming home the next morning feeling dirty. Washing every skin of my being until it has been scrubbed raw. Legs aching but I didn’t work out that day. Lying on the bed thinking what’s wrong with me. Try to cry, but tears don’t come out. Somehow, I dial my ex’s number on my phone.

Two years later and I see that you have a girlfriend now. I wonder if I should message her and tell her who you really are. I wonder if she knows.

I start walking home. My boots hit the pavement. I wonder why it hasn’t snowed yet. Odd.

“Grab her by the pussy.”

I’m watching my country from afar as it hurls itself into a political whirlwind. There’s just so much going on. From the Women’s March to the March on Science to the debate on bathroom policies, it’s hard to keep up. I’m American. What would you do if your country is the butt of the joke for others to enjoy and gawk at?

Someone’s waving at me as they walk towards me. I squint my eyes so I can try and make out the silhouette under the flickering street lamp. I don’t recognise them, but there’s no one behind me. They probably mistook me for somebody else. I pull my head down and keep walking.

You can never look at them the same way again. Kevin Spacey, George Takei, Mariah Carey… All names that I once respected have been desecrated in a span of days.

I stop at the foot of the hill where my apartment building sits on. It’s no castle, but I feel like the Queen of the Hill when I look down and see tiny city lights.

What about the pipeline? What about invading traditional Native land? What about the environment? What about job security?

One step at a time. One foot in front of the other. I struggle to trudge up the hill. My knees are begging for me to walk on flat ground again. It’s an old injury. High school memories cross my mind. My future holds me in a bind.

Is it December already?