My living arrangement in the past year has been interesting. I have resided in four locations as a temporary guest to rentee. In my recent rental, my cleaning habits have been seen a disrespectful to the owner of the possessions. In my past, this kind of association with one’s possessions has never really happened. So let’s look at respect in this aspect.

I have been a renter before. I have been around items owned by other people. Tacking a label of respect onto one’s property is rather bothersome to me. Items can be damaged or stolen and you can not do much about the lost. You can get renters insurance and stout locks but that may not save your items from a fire or natural wear and tear. You know what, I just can not make the jump of attaching my level of respect in direct relation to my items. So this line of thinking is out of my perception. All I can think about is if these items were lost in a fire or a robbery, is my level of respect in myself affected?

Having been robbed several times in my life and having been myself a thief, I can no longer get attached to my possessions as extensions of myself in an extreme capacity. I want people to respect my things and not abuse them but my personal respect is not aligned with that thought process at all. I personally lean into, if you break it, you replace it or we no longer have it for use. That line of respect is in concert with if you want the skill the item offers to exist in your life. That is the end of it. Since I have been parted from my items for a year, I know one will always have the ability to rebuild.

But that is when it comes to items. I do not think of myself as a pharaoh in need of being buried with everything I owned in my life. That is how I look at the situation that my housemate perceives as an emotional slight. My idea of respect is attached to my body autonomy and my opinions. These are the spaces that you carry with you at all times. When we look at things lost in a fire, you may not be able to save the item that triggers a memory but you can preserve that memory in another capacity. Take for example the earrings my grandmother gave me. I miss the earrings and to some degree can recall the time I discovered them among her jewelry and how their lampshade look entranced me. I can recall how she came to my aunt’s place to gift them to me. I was hoping to get them when she passed on but she was not wearing them. As a result, I got them early on. She can take pleasure in wearing them. I wore them several times since they were added to my collection. I look forward to having them in my collection again.

But when it comes to body autonomy, those violations still have an impact on me. I imagine that having one’s body disrespected is far more damaging to get over. Your body is your temple. You only get one of them. And if someone disregarded your body, you would carry that memory. I recall in my time when I was particularly handsy. One of the boys I would touch got super mad at me. I did not get this response from anyone but him. It stuck out. It made me think. Well, the teacher made me think about it. But that is something that I did that may have been a trigger for him or just self-defense. I never asked him about it. Mainly because he would not explain it just get pissed and tight-lipped. And it would not help to pick at it until he got furious so I will have to examine it from other avenues.

There was a sexual harassment incident in my circle that came to my attention when the individual that did the harassment was put into a position of authority in our community. The harrassed was approached by the harasser several times with overt suggestions about how they could enjoy the harassed sexually. I am told these encounters happened in places where public officials were present and the harasser's comments were glossed over partly because the harasser was also a public official in these circles. The harassed chose to leave these spaces since their voice was being ignored but when the harasser was placed in a position of authority in their shared community, they could not take it anymore. this level of respect for the harrassed from the public officials destroys the respect the public has for the officials who are supposed to be a voice to the voiceless. This is a level of deep disrespect and sows distrust in the government. For the harassed, they don’t get to move on from this mental violation as the harasser is still in a public position.

In my time as a JROTC student, the teachers talked about respect in what you represent in that space. Respect extended to the care of your uniform when you put it on. Respect for you and your country was imbued in you once you put the uniform on. It is the same kind of respect one is supposed the give a police officer or any uniformed persona. The markers of the position activated the respect for these positions. At least, the respect we are educated to give them. As a Black person, this kind of respect for uniformed beings is tainted particularly when uniformed officials have no respect for members of minority communities.

Something I am not considering is height as an element in this respect disposition. My housemate mentioned that they have a complex about being short so maybe demanding respect of his items as an extension of being looked down on in some sense. But we are the same height so that can not be it. My housemate is a male and I have been informed that male egos are fixed on physical restrictions in some sense. Maybe that has something about it.

I have to ask the soulmate about this.

Taking adjectives out to ‘lunch’ to see what two cocktails does to their tongues.