I forget that besides awesome people at college, there’s also really ridiculously strange people – other than myself – at these type of institutions. Today, I was happily absorbed in a conversation in my religion class, discussing the ways in which Buddha should try to diet and lose that little belly of his when suddenly, a girl to my left picked a stray feather off of my fleece.
No warning. No “Hey, I’m going to go ahead and enter your personal bubble and pop it with my prying, plier-like fingers.”
I was shocked: 1) I did not know this person, 2) I did not ask to be part of this monkey-grooming ritual she just initiated, and 3) maybe I was saving that feather for later to build a cultural appropriation-themed headdress to offend all races/colors/ethnicities/breeds/species? WHAT THEN?
My down jacket likes to shed itself on my inner layers of clothing and I’m at peace with that fact. I’ve obviously absorbed the Buddhist teachings we were learning about today and applied it to my own life: life is suffering and suffering is knowing that pieces of feathers and fluff and bellybutton lint will end up on my pristine Northface fleece; such is life. But this girl – this..this.. creature - thought she could just friend-level jump all the way to Best-Friend/Groomer/Mother-Figure. And she totally broke my meditation I was having with that feather – NAY – that remnant of a flight-driven beast whose spirit I was intimately connected to and – dare I say it – loved. I was at peace with that feather. The act of taking off that feather from my fleece was her saying, “NO NAMASTE FOR YOU.”
It seems innocent enough, she was just getting a bit of fuzz off of my jacket. But it’s actually not. I never gave her permission to steal my possessions away from me. What next, the shirt off my back? No thanks, random class stranger. No thanks. And I’m not into monkeys like that.