Please Do Not Flaunt Your Rights

Geist - - Findings - LEANNE SIMP­SON

From Is­lands of De­colo­nial Love. Pub­lished by ARP Books in 2013. Leanne Simp­son is the past di­rec­tor of In­dige­nous En­vi­ron­men­tal Stud­ies at Trent Univer­sity. She is a mem­ber of the gidi­gaa bzhiw do­dem and a cit­i­zen of the Nish­naabeg Na­tion.

af­ter 89 years of eat­ing squir­rel, muskrat, ground­hog and tomato mac­a­roni wiener soup, my hunt­ing and fish­ing rights have ar­rived back at the plea­sure of the crown. the let­ter said as of oc­to­ber 29, you can hunt and fish the 1818 treaty area and please do not flaunt your rights in front of the on­tario fed­er­a­tion of hun­ters and an­glers.

so me and my best kwe drove down to the ofha head­quar­ters, set up our lawn chairs, built a bit of a shkode and nailed two signs into the ground that

read: first we’ll kill your an­i­mals and fish, then we’ll fuck your wives (with their con­sent, of course). we stayed there for two days, un­til the cops came and told us we were tres­pass­ing and no one knew what our signs meant any­way. you can­not ap­par­ently write “fuck” on a sign in pub­lic and then just sit be­side it smok­ing elec­tronic cig­a­rettes be­cause we’re try­ing to quit and eat­ing sand­wiches out of the cooler. you can­not just protest for no rea­son, you have to have some rea­son and come on, you’re mak­ing your peo­ple look bad. they didn’t send the reg­u­lar cops though. they drove out and got the rez cop, and sent him over to talk us down. which i guess is an im­prove­ment be­cause some­times they just shoot. so garry comes over and is all “what’s all this?” act­ing cop­like, and we’re bit­ing the in­sides of our cheeks say­ing “aaniin gookoosh,” and garry’s bit­ing the in­sides of his cheeks too be­cause we just learned that par­tic­u­lar farm an­i­mal all to­gether in lan­guage class on wed­nes­day. then kwe says, “what the fuck took you so long? we’ve been here for two days, we’re start­ing to run out of god­damn sand­wiches.” garry says we have to be gone by to­mor­row or there’s go­ing to be charges.

so i leave ofha head­quar­ters early, and i there­fore get home early and i open the be­d­room door and there’s

garry all mis­sion­ary, pump­ing his shit stick into some 25-year-old col­lege zha­ganashikwe. i feel em­bar­rassed for garry when our eyes meet. and yes, i feel con­tempt when my eyes meet hers imag­in­ing how im­pres­sive garry must seem when you can’t see through his ve­neer and when you don’t know enough to see he stopped self ac­tu­al­iz­ing in 1998. when you can only see wild ex­otic sav­age lover.

his weak­ness is all splayed out be­fore me in a lake and i can see 15 m to the bot­tom. it burns—the idea that me and her and her vac­u­ous 25-yearold mind are equiv­a­lent. “sorry.” “sorry for what?” “i’m sorry you had to see that.” “me too.” “it doesn’t mean any­thing.” “fuck who you want.” “you don’t un­der­stand.” “i un­der­stand. i don’t care who you fuck.”

“you’re just say­ing that be­cause you’re mad.”

“i’m just say­ing that be­cause i love you but i don’t care who else you fuck.” “now what?”

“now what, what?”

“well i don’t know what hap­pens next.” “of course you don’t.” “of course i don’t?” “of course you don’t.” “you’re sit­ting there, ex­pect­ing me to freak, ex­pect­ing me to be mad and cry and throw ran­dom ob­jects at you and call you a loser and self­ish and a cheater. and you’re all ready to de­fend your­self and tell me it means noth­ing and tell me she means noth­ing and that it will never hap­pen again. and that’s all bull­shit. you’re try­ing to fill the gap­ing hole. white pussy filled it for ten min­utes. now you’re in the ex­act same po­si­tion you were in this morn­ing with your gap­ing hole. noth­ing’s changed.” “no noth­ing’s changed.”

“fine.”

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