“Your hair is so pretty, what are you mixed with?”
I answered rolling my eyes, “Hell, fire and savagery.”
I know you’re mixed with something, you aren’t all black are you?
I roll my eyes and wonder if I should storm off like an angry black woman or give into my boredom and tolerate this man so at least I’d have something to do for the rest of the evening.
I reply, with a seductive look in my eyes as I play with the straw in my mouth from my cocktail, twirling it about my full lips.
“I am whatever you want me to be.” Since it was so important that I wasn’t “full” black, I wanted to tease him and not give him the satisfaction of a direct answer.
He became irritated and looked at me as if he had pity for me. He replied,
“You don’t have to be embarrassed of your ethnicity, I’ve dated girls of all races, I don’t see color.”
I gave him a bitch’s gaze. You know that hazy brown eyed girl gaze that looks into souls like an x-ray examines fractures in bones. I see cracks but because he is black I muster up enough sympathy to empathize with his self-hatred.
He interrupted my read by pointing out a girl sitting at the bar to me by saying,
“What ethnicity do you think that girl is over there in the red shirt at the bar? She looks like she’s maybe Latina from South America?”
I swiftly retort, “Who cares?!”
He further explains he likes to people watch, but I know he has a fascination for the non-black exotic, any woman who isn’t like his own. I yawn in boredom. Then he quickly returns his attention back to me.
I repeat his statement he made a few moments ago back to him “You dated all races and you don’t see color?”
I could not contain my laughter. I couldn’t help but think, is this negro serious? Everyone see’s your color, but you claim to be colorblind? Of course, I’d love to live in a world where people didn’t see color, but I live in this place called reality, the color lines are obvious in this dimension. I’m reminded of my blackness. Even now, at this restaurant with this black man, I am being challenged to prove my ethnicity, my non-blackness. The fuck?!
I responded reluctantly, but the liquor kicked in and I gave in to my inherent sass.
“If color doesn’t matter, why you stressing me about what I’m mixed with? Oh, wait! Is it because you want me to validate your taste, because if I wasn’t mixed I probably wouldn’t be desirable to you because I would reflect too much of you, back to you?” You see color, you see hair texture and you see a mixed girl.”
The conversations I have with the self-hating, mice of men in Minnesota.
To be continued.
By Janell Hihi Copyright@2017