Jessica Lindsley, 8/1/2016
Current Occupation: Composite Non-Destructive Testing Inspector
Former Occupation: Windmill Blade Manufacturing Technician
Contact Information: Jessica Lindsley grew up in North Dakota before the oil boom. Her written work has recently appeared in journals including Thirteen Myna Birds, Literary Orphans, and Menacing Hedge.
sitting. listening to classic rock. radio loud to drown the voices of the men in the canteen rolling with laughter and shouting about the ugly drunken things they did on their too, too short weekend. tv plays headline news and variations on same tired insurance and sports drink commercials. that song ends, another song comes on, a louder and older one and my fingers on the keyboard keeps in cadence with “killing in the name of.” i am light-blue collar, i have a desk where i file reports and eat my sad vegetables and salads. the chair legs squeal over the concrete, thump, the moving around of too many bodies in confined spaces, similar to confined spaces they just emerged from but brightly light. “now you do what they told you” and we do, because they pay us, not well, exactly but the best here in this state without being on a rig. the coffee is pre-sealed in filters and it is free and acrid like burnt grounds, scrapped off the bottom of the barrels and floors of the coffee roasters, the tp is single ply and like sandpaper and off white and smells like unnamable chemicals, bleach bleach and sandpaper, the tools of this trade recycled. i say too much sometimes, the one of two women in the company of wolves, and now they all talk around me in hushed tones, whispers across the divider, bowed heads and raised hands like pantomiming preschool gossiping, breaking out in laughter when I leave the room and even my longest time and best friends don’t talk to me the same now. this is the other side of harassment, this is the other side of being tired of the rape jokes, this is the other side of the fist, this is the other side of the hr desk and when someone comes in and starts talking, then peeks around the corner and the laughter dies… it’s a lonely life: speak up, open up. don’t be a doormat. did you think you had a problem? you have twice the problem now. you said the rape joke wasn’t funny. this woman, the other female employee, and i bonded with working long late days in the sun five, six years ago, this woman would drink until she passed out at the bar and i made sure she got home, because that’s what friends do and I made sure she was safety in her trailer, not being carried home by a lewd coworker or ex or random man, and i spoke out that she wasn’t a slut and the things that had happened were not her choice, but no one listened to me and now, she posts memes about me tagging the man full of rape jokes and now, she averts her eyes in the stairwell and whispers fat ass, changes the story to say i was the one sobbing and passing out over tequila shots those years ago because i need a man, tells everyone i’m a dumb bitch, a stupid bitch because, you know, deciding to blow the whistle