There’s something about a man with a bald patch, pot belly, and ironed dress shirt that’s completely irresistible. Or so I tell myself, as I listen to a man whose college years are visible in his beer belly tell me that he plans on getting his MBA overseas so he can get an “education in culture too.”
Later, he tells me I’ve got a mouth like a bullet. I sigh as he looks at me with wide eyes, waiting for me to indulge him. “What does that mean?” He smiles and continues, “One kiss from you and I’d be dead.” I feign interest and say, “Good thing you told me, I wouldn’t want to be a murderer.” He shoots me a smile he’s practiced in the mirror and says, “Too late.”
I sit in his bed and watch as large chunks of steak fly onto the mirror as he flosses his teeth. I tell myself this is a social experiment, that I am simply investigating how others love. I tell myself that it’s one big joke and that the stories I’ll get out of it will be priceless. When the growing hole inside of me suggests that I am too much of a coward to be alone, I kiss him.
Months pass and I no longer flinch when he runs his fingers over my hips. I let him put his hand on my thigh while we watch T.V. I let him climb into the shower with me. When he puts his leg over me in bed, I don’t roll over. One night, he leans over and asks, “what are you hiding, hun?” I say, “nothing.” Nothing. Nothing nothing nothing. I say, “Is it so wrong that I want to keep a little something for myself?” He says, “I guess it makes sense, but why?” But I do not reply. We both know I am trying to keep him from touching the realest part of me.
The next day, I am still there, sitting with him as he watches a movie on a family who stayed in their birth country during war. “Why would someone stay somewhere they didn’t want to be?” he asks. When he asks me to please throw out the bag of bottles by the door, I walk outside, past the recycling bin, and do not stop until I am at a bus stop, crying.
For four months, he texts me and asks me to come back. When I block his number, he sends me an email, asking why I left. I tell him I needed to think about his question. “What question?” he says, confused. I continue, “I think I understand now. People stay somewhere they don’t want to be because they don’t know where else to go. But I didn’t want to remain unhappy just because it’s all I’d ever known.”"
In 2002, having spent more than three years in one residence for the first time in my life, I got called for jury duty. I show up on time, ready to serve. When we get to the voir dire, the lawyer says to me, “I see you’re an astrophysicist. What’s that?” I answer, “Astrophysics is the laws of physics, applied to the universe—the Big Bang, black holes, that sort of thing.” Then he asks, “What do you teach at Princeton?” and I say, “I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.
A few years later, jury duty again. The judge states that the defendant is charged with possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine. It was found on his body, he was arrested, and he is now on trial. This time, after the Q&A is over, the judge asks us whether there are any questions we’d like to ask the court, and I say, “Yes, Your Honor. Why did you say he was in possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine? That equals 1.7 grams. The ‘thousand’ cancels with the ‘milli-’ and you get 1.7 grams, which is less than the weight of a dime.” Again I’m out on the street."
Neil deGrasse Tyson (via we-are-star-stuff)
In conclusion: When they pick juries for prosecution of drug-related crimes, they try to avoid having any smart people on the jury because smart people might realize that the whole thing is BS.(via karenfelloutofbedagain)