Wednesday, February 13, 2013
I looked around at the other passengers. The vast majority, surprisingly, were white guys like me. With the exception of a few Latinos and two or three African Americans, we were all of Anglo-decent. No one else seemed phased by the hateful explosion (granted this is NYC and the masses don't get phased easily) but no one seemed the least bit upset by the event. Everyone went right back to their ipad, book, music or game after the shock of the man's explosive voice faded away.
I, on the other hand, felt my face grow red hot. I was surprised by my involuntary response, and because my initial shock was quickly morphing into embarrassment that border-lined on shame. I felt stripped of identity and arbitrarily reduced to nothing more than a meaningless social construct known as "skin color".
I looked at the African American man sitting across from me squarely in the face and wondered, "Do you hate me too because of the color of my skin? What about my son? Is someone so beautiful and innocent a symbol of disgust to you too?" I quickly looked away and felt my face grow red hot again.
It's not just the hate that was so upsetting (although, as Derek knows, I have a very LOW tolerance for any kind of violence -- including hate. So yes, that's upsetting but that's not what shamed me). It was hating me -- or someone classified as being "like me" -- based on something I cannot control, something that is part of me but does no define me, my skin.
I thought about all the people who had been hated for the same stupid reason, and maybe I'm going too far here, but I honestly felt the tinniest bit of understanding for some of the complexities and degrading properties of prejudice. I wasn't upset, rather I felt as though my eyes had been opened ever so slightly to a side of an issue that had been so unfamiliar to me before and for that I am grateful. I hope that particular encounter makes me a more loving, open and accepting member of society.
After I told Derek about the incident, he told me he wonders what someone has experienced in life to feel such a lack of acceptance for other members of the human race -- for people who are just like him. Indeed. I just hope for myself or anyone in my family, we will never be the means of propagating such intolerance and hate for the future generations.
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Let's not forget your dad. Your dad's nickname from his mom is "Bucky" (not nearly as cool as Muff or Beebes, right? Kidding. None of these are very cool, but that's not the point. And yes, there is a point and yes, I'm getting there). Apparently he loved to rock -- and still does -- in a rocking chair when he was younger. So much so, that she gave him the nickname.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Are you still there? Do you remember me - your once faithful friend and writer? I have not forgotten you. Tonight my head and hands itch for the keyboard, my blog and you.
It has been too long since I have sat down and forced my mind to mutate from private inner musings, to public utterances of sound and sentences. Forgive me for my hiatus. You see, I fell in love.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
I’ve tried writing one poem and three blog posts to you. I write a line or two and scrap it, knowing you would laugh at my foolish attempts. I feel completely inadequate to address you in verse, preferring instead a long drive where words fill the space between lost glances and undiscovered feelings. Yet the beautiful person you are and hide is blooming and alive in the words on your pages. So I’m trying something new; communicating with you in your medium. I only ask for your patients as I try to navigate my feelings to the page.
You were the perfect person to join me and Jane Eyre. I could spend days, weeks, or months in a bookstore with you as my teacher. I love that you find beauty and magic in a town that stands as the epitome of American embarrassment, and remind me all over again that I know nothing about the world I’m living in. Thank you for helping me let go and say goodbye to the JSFB along with the fully stocked fending machine muffins, costing exactly $1.20. I pull out my cell phone a million times a day wanting to send you a message just so I can get my fill of your witty humor. Inevitably, however, I talk myself out of the idea until the next impulse comes, and I know before my hands reaches inside my pocket I’m giving in this time.