Added inches give a confidence boost (most women would agree). I woke up this morning feeling energized and ready to conquer the world. So when I took my shower and wore my pencil skirt and white flowy blouse, I knew I had to wear my favorite pair of chunky black sandals. I was feeling on top of the world.
I work as a concierge in the District of Columbia. The hustle and bustle of city life is what keeps me entertained as I waltz down the streets on my way to work. But today, I couldn’t really waltz. Today, I was in a mad rush. In what felt like 99 degree heat, it was no fun. And the heels did NOT help.
I’d planned ahead of time. I knew I had to take the metro then walk a few mins to my first desk. I’ve been doing whats called a “lunch run” these days. That’s when a temporary concierge covers for the main concierge while they take their lunch break. I love the versatility of the lunch run. I meet new people almost every hour and i get to relax on my walk to the next desk which is usually about 10 mins away.
I got into the train and it was about 9:12 a.m. I’m thinking “35 minutes tops and I’ll be at Farragut West Station and then I’ll just work it in my heels and have all eyes on me and all heads spinning.” Well, 10 minutes later, we’re only 3 stops in and I’m now thinking “this has got to be the slowest train ride ever.”
Anyway, I got out another 23 or so minutes later and I can swear to you that my legs in these chunky sandals, were going a few seconds faster than my brain was thinking. I had confidence alright, but it didn’t feel as great knowing I’d be a few minutes late for work.
Oh the chronicles of a woman’s life.
“I love you.”
Karen stopped dead in her tracks, the 95 degree heat suddenly feeling hotter. In slow motion, as though afraid to see sincerity in his eyes, she turned to face him. They stood on the sidewalk in front of a small french bistro two blocks from her apartment complex. Here she was, the six-foot-three, broad shouldered Darien King towering over her. This dark-haired, brown-eyed, ruggedly handsome Darien King. The same one to whom she’d given her heart. The same one who’d, so coldly, shred it in a million tiny pieces and flushed it down the toilet. She had pinned for this day for about 5,475 days give or take – not that she was counting. Yet here she was, speechless. The words she’d rehearsed so many times, couldn’t make their way from her heart to her lips. All she could manage was a weak and confused sounding chuckle.
It felt like the bustle of the people and cars rushing and swooshing up and down the road completely stopped. He looked so intently into her dark brown eyes, searching for something he knew was there. She gave him her coldest glare and watched him die a little inside. In fact, she almost wanted to celebrate the fact that he was hurting. So what was that thing in her heart still tugging at strings she thought she’d cut long ago? She would deal with that later. For right now, she had to get out of there before she said or did anything she would regret. So she turned away from the one man who will always have her heart. As she sashayed away, she knew he was breaking just like she had that day.
Karen Sway had never looked at him like that. Not even when he had told her she wasn’t good enough for him, and turned his back on her. That was the first time he really saw the pain he’d caused the only person he never ever wanted to hurt, and he wanted to slap himself for damaging her like that.
Now he was back and more in love with her than he’d been before he broke her heart. I had no choice. He kept telling himself this, hoping that if he said it enough, he’d convince himself that she’d understand. Would she understand? Would she ever even let him explain? He wondered about all this as he watched her walk away from him. The love of his life was walking out of his life! What are you doing you idiot, follow her NOW!
“Karen, I’m serious. I love you. I always did. Please stop!”. She turned around so abruptly and started to say something. As he closed the gap between them, he saw her catch her breath like she’d decided not to confront him after all. She still couldn’t bring herself to say one damn word? He saw the tears start to gather in her eyes and then it hit him. She hadn’t moved on. She still hurt deep down and now here he was, bringing all her buried pain back to life. He now understood that she wasn’t ready to face him. Who could blame her? When she turned around and briskly walked away, this time he let her go. He’d have to wait.
I want to say so many things regarding black people and white police, brutality, racial profiling.
July 5th; Alton Sterling is shot, in the chest, at close range, while pinned to the ground by two officers.
July 6th, Philando Castile is shot, while his four-year-old daughter watches from the backseat of the car. His girlfriend streams his pain live for the world to see.
I have so much grief to express, so many tears I’ve shed.
But I have no words.
Here’s what a poet friend of mine; Jason Nkwain, wrote in response to these incidents.
And here’s art by Laolu Senbanjo, that tells a story. It’s the story of what today’s America is like for we blacks.
I’m left to grieve for the world, speechless. What can we do? What haven’t we done? What did we ever do?
I have a question….
Disclaimer: this question might be considered offensive to some folk.
P.S, it is not intended to spark hate or be offensive, it is intended to spark conversation…
Ok so here’s my question… If given the chance in today’s America or perhaps today’s world, for black people to enslave white people the way they did blacks during slavery, would Black people do it?
Our wounds are deep and our scars will never fade. The history can never be forgotten. But will hurting the ones who hurt us make the pain go away? Will holding on to this pain somehow make our struggles less of a burden?
This is what I say. I say the only way to beat racism is to take our wounds, our scars, our history, and make it beautiful. It’s to rise up to excellence and be majestic and unapologetic about who we are.
We are a people, stronger than chains or beatings, stronger than plantation farms or forced labour. Stronger than abuse or insult. We are strong even when we are at our weakest.
So while we can never forget who we are because we will carry our scars until the end of time, we can also not live in perpetual hate and limit our possibilities. We must not find every excuse to relive our torture, to blame, even though the blame is very justified.
We must wear our scars with pride, and March in strength to excellence, for the strong were born to fight!! We must fight!
Happy Fourth America!