Friday, April 3, 2009

Holy Shit! I'm black.

Standing in line at Starbucks with my friend I said, "You shave in the shower? Do you have a mirror in there?"
He said, "No, I just know how to do it. I've only had a couple of side-burn mishaps."

So I stood there, intermittently asking questions about his shower-shaving practice; I don't know what else we talked about, because for the rest of the short conversation, I was biding my time until I could ask another question to ascertain what kind of man would shave in the shower without a mirror.

Then it hit me:
Holy shit. I'm black.

And then:
Holy shit! I'm black.

And then:
Holy shit!! I'm BLACK!

It landed on me, again, like a ton of bricks. To be sure, this was not the first time I'd realized how hard it is to be different, or how hard it is be black (and, therefore, different) in this world. Each time, though, I am struck (ha) by how clarity arrives with the "uh, duh" information.

Perhaps racial lines are drawn in the sand - literally, in the trenches. In the innocent or mundane, ahem, niggling trifles of our days. In the stuff that we do, say, share - or, rather, won't do, don't say, or wouldn't dare.

So then I said, "Don't answer any more of my questions. I won't ever understand. It's a black thing."

And as he opened his mouth to respond, I said, "Sssshh. Don't even get me started on that. Want some coffee?"


  1. It’s sad. When I was young I focused on what made me different. When one focuses on a specific difference they are assuming others will not see the whole person. They assume that simple difference will be seen as an unacceptable flaw. Screw those who do; and, enjoy life with those who see the beautiful person you are.

  2. Oh... I shave my face and head in the shower too.


    never has hit me.

    "Black" is a cultural thing, IMO. Some physiological differences are inherent in all people. I think it's more important that you're human eh? If you relate to some cultural stuff, so be it - but please use the difference to free yourself from potentially senseless revelations.

    (besides whatever else you are, you're also very pretty and talented, kudos, bigups, etc. to you)