Kimberlé Crenshaw joins This is Hell! to discuss her new book, #SayHerName: Black Women’s Stories of Police Violence and Public Silence (Haymarket Books).
Support This is Hell! at www.patreon.com/thisishell
The bartender at the Surly Goat used to walk his dog after his shift at around 2:30 am. It was a good time to walk his dog because no one else was out walking a dog. The bartender’s dog, whose name was Governator, did not get along with other dogs. Worse yet, when he spotted another dog on a walk, Governator would lie down and pretend to be submissive and eager to play. Other dogs would be fooled by this ploy and come near enough for Governator to leap to his feet and bark angrily in the other dog’s face, sometimes even biting them. As a dog, Governator was a dick.
Usually during these walks the off-duty bartender would take Governator strolling down an unpaved alley. It was a sandy road with a high wall on one side behind which were a Tudor house that was the home of an aged ingenue and a grove of magnolia and sycamore trees. On the other side were two big estates with gated driveways letting out onto the alley. The gates were sliding walls that opened electrically.
Each gate had about four inches of clearance at the bottom. When the backyard lights were on, that light would come through the clearance space at the bottom, and whenever Governator would walk past these gates his paws would be illuminated. The surrounding night was often dark enough that one could almost imagine those paws were disembodied animal feet strutting along by themselves in the shadows.
Sometimes the bartender would stop and look up through a rear window of the Tudor home of the aged ingenue. There was only one window visible to him. It appeared to look in on a small room. When the light in the room was on he could only see only the ceiling of the room, as he was looking into the window from at least fifteen feet below. It was a vaulted ceiling symmetrically divided into four teardrop-shaped vaults, very medieval in appearance. This went along with his feeling that the aged ingenue was some sort of witch.
She was extremely pale. She had been just as pale when she was younger, when she had been the romantic partner of an actor who began his career playing an old west gunfighter in many Italian westerns and an extremely violent cop in slightly later films. She was so pale her skin verged on transparency, like that of a fetus. It was an especially frightening look for an elderly woman. Her age, transparency, reclusiveness in the Tudor house, and the vaulted ceiling together contributed to a ghastly,... read more