Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Last night I was sitting out on my terrace like I do every night. For the past week I've had a friend to sit with. I've been talking to the man that lives on the second floor and directly across from me. He's dating my neighbor (who's a sweetheart as well). He's intrigued by the fact that I'm a writer and we've had some pretty awesome conversations. Last night we were sitting and talking and he said that he'd gone to court earlier that day. He's going through an ugly divorce and had to be escorted in and out of the court house. He made several pleas to me. The first was if I really didn't like who I was in a relationship with, I needed to let him go before it even got so far as to what he was dealing with. I told him I understood completely (damn if that didn't make me think) but that's when the conversation got just a little bit more heavy. His children are the products of an interracial relationship. Their mother is Korean and he's white. He began to cry and he went on to explain how he was raised in Manassas, VA where racism was very prevalent but he hadn't been on the losing end . . . until now. Racism is all he sees and it's through the eyes of his children. He started to sob uncontrollably and he admitted to me that he's heard his children called names like "chinks" on the soccer field or he'd be asked ignorant questions like, "Whose children are those? Are they adopted?" Such a heartbreaking yet eye-opening discussion. His final plea to me was to write something that included his children. Something that almost obliterated the ubiquitous nature of race and made us all human and not a color. I promised I'd do so and then he called his phone number out to me and this was the very last thing that he said, "Call me anytime. I have so much to talk about and there's something about you that makes me trust you. We can have coffee some time soon." I agreed and promised to call him this week. Finally he said, "I don't know what it is about you. I know that you're black but I wouldn't know you if I saw you walk past me on the street. I've never seen your face. But I can't wait to shake your hand and give you the biggest hug I've ever given anyone." Because we're always out there after sunset we've never seen each other's faces and I think that little tidbit makes this exchange all the more beautiful. I'm really not sure why I'm sharing this with you guys but . . . . that's my life and I'm living and loving it. It's a blessing the way that I've been given so much inspiration in just a matter of months. I'm writing my heart out and I won't stop until there's nothing left to say . . .