Hurricane Harvey

I’d had such a stressful week that the warnings about Hurricane Harvey washed over me. Despite the evacuation images I saw on TV and the scrolling flash flood warnings at the bottom of news broadcasts, I’d burned the candle at both ends, scrambling to work on too many projects at once. I’d temporarily forgotten how close I lived to the impending disaster.

By Thursday, reality had finally sunk in that a natural disaster neared my doorstep.  Coupling that with my inner turmoil, my nightly prayer included a plea for God to dissipate that hurricane. I repeated that same plea on Friday night. Yet Hurricane Harvey kept thrashing the coastal communities along the Gulf of Mexico.

During my weekly Saturday morning call to Mom, who lived in NC with Dad, she confessed the irrational belief that since Dad’s Uncle Harvey was a gentleman, she didn’t think Hurricane Harvey would do much harm.  We both laughed at the silliness of it. Plus, I’d been wishfully thinking the same thing.

Yet, my experience with Harvey began with a cooling relief of the triple-degree weather, starting around Wednesday. Then a constant rain on Friday night and into Saturday, which continued on Sunday, causing flash floods around town. I’d ventured to one or two places during the day, but absolutely stayed home at night.

One of the silver linings to being near an impending natural disaster was hearing from long-lost relatives and friends. A few just texted me to confirm that I was OK. One friend who I hardly ever hear from except around Christmas, called and we gave each other updates, but it could’ve been just yesterday when we last spoke.

Another friend had invited me to watch the Game of Thrones season finale at her house, but as a consolation prize, we actually TALKED on the phone. How retro in this day and age of social media and texting!

Nothing close to the widespread devastation of Houston occurred in Austin. Besides the flash floods, which dried up after a few days, I recently noticed cars lining up at a gas station. At some stations, they’d run out of the cheap gas and prices sharply rose due to a shortage and Labor Day weekend.

Just a few weeks prior to this hurricane, The States had reacted against white supremacist violence Charlotte. In contrast, we here in Texas show the true spirit of being Americans by helping one another during these struggling times. Amidst all the talk of removing Confederate statutes, some have suggested replacing them with the contemporary heroes who have helped Hurricane Harvey survivors.

I’m not sure about any of that, but I’m so happy that far more of us believe and act upon cooperating and helping one another rather than acting out in hate and violence.

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All-Knowing Goddess

Essentially, the other me is an all-knowing goddess. Yes, with a lowercase “g.” Kind of like how Batman is a superhero, but his superpowers are having lots of money and cool, high tech gadgets.  Well, my cool gadgets are books. As a matter of fact, I read a wide variety of things and feel a little anxious when I don’t have time to get a daily dose of everything in my reading pile, which I’ve started limiting to four to six things since reading merely three different things seems too sparse and more than six, unrealistic except on the weekends.

Whereas Bruce Wayne lives in a bat cave, I live in a creative cave. Full of books and reliable high-speed internet because whichever project I’m working on, I want to know as much as possible about that subject to move forward with my project.

The difference between being an all-knowing goddess and a bookworm or nerd is in the attitude. You have to have confidence when you’re a goddess. And being an all-knowing goddess isn’t the same as being a know-it-all. If I knew everything, I’d be a goddess with a capital “G” or a teenager. I remember knowing EVERYTHING when I was 17, not being the least bit aware of the things I didn’t know.

As a seasoned all-knowing goddess, I embrace the fact that I cannot possibly know EVERYTHING, but I can access up to the limits of public knowledge. I fiercely and boldly wield this superpower. Besides, I don’t need to know it all to be successful, especially now that facts come in a variety of alternative forms and words may or may not retain their meaning, depending on how much political clout you have and how much money there is to be made in the ensuing confusion. Who could have predicted years ago when spelling was de-emphasized in school that we’d come to point where the meaning of words would also be de-emphasized?

I don’t claim to be a clairvoyant goddess, but I predict that if the integrity of the meaning of words disappears, then my archenemy, Ignorance, prevails. Once we stop respecting the meaning of words, Ignorance will no longer have to ban or burn books.  We’ll do that ourselves.

For me, reading continues to be a revolutionary act. Imagine my slave ancestors who weren’t legally allowed to learn how to read. Then my relatives who lived during segregated/Jim Crow America where they didn’t have access to certain books in their section of the library and were educated with outdated, dilapidated and often egregiously biased textbooks. Now the very words we read, write and speak are under assault. Ignorance has moved beyond trying to block access to literacy and books, finding it more efficient to attack semantics.

Just like when millions of Americans protested when the word “freedom” was being erroneously used to describe “not having federally-subsidized health insurance,” we must guard against the twisting of words, especially when there are so many ways words are disseminated from the Tower of Babel to confuse the masses. If they ever manage to coordinate their splintered narratives through their verbal sleight of hand, then I will have to increase my reading intake to build up my superpower of knowledge, especially building my vocabulary.

Regardless of whether you see yourself as an all-knowing god or not, empower yourself with the true meaning of words. Read from a variety of sources. Gather firsthand experiences of the power of words. Enrich your vocabulary. Articulate your own personal narrative.  Defeat Ignorance.

 

 

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Peatross Family Reunion 2017

Since both my money and paid time off aligned this summer, I attended a reunion on my father’s side of the family.  I hadn’t seen them in nearly ten years. I’ve only consistently reunited with my immediate family who were in attendance, but it was strange to see them since it was not Christmas.I’d decided to attend at the last minute, which is why I’m the only one without a family reunion T-shirt.
I made sure to take my father’s picture with his two sisters. I didn’t know if we were going to take any formal group pictures and wanted to get as many as I could.When I look at long-established married couples like my parents and one of my sisters and her husband, they seem like generations from a by-gone era. One of my cousin’s wife had her first novel for sale. Reminded me of the time back in 2011 when I took my first novel to the reunion on my mother’s side of the family. Much later after the fact, I discovered that one of my uncles didn’t like the fact that I’d sold my book at the reunion. Soon after most of us had finished eating, we made the tremendous effort to get everyone on stage to take a group picture.Then, we took cohort pictures, starting with the 70+ age group.Next, the 60s group took their picture. The 50s group started making too much noise, led by one of my sisters, as they made their way to the stage.For some inexplicable reason, once my group, the 40s, made our way to the stage, only two of us were present in the room; so we had a good time, like the childhood friends we’d been growing up.Throughout our photo shoot, we kept yelling for another cousin who we knew was in our age group, but was probably outside smoking. We made the most out of “waiting” for him.Finally, three other cousins joined us.The 20s group were far too cool to show out, not having to prove their vitality, but rather show they were no longer children. Then the teenage and younger group all sat in front of the stage. They should have been the most energetic, but they were pretty subdued as well.Then, to put the puzzle pieces together in yet another fashion, we took “immediate” family pictures. So, here are the immediate descendants of my parents, starting with our “getting ready shot.”Followed by the “we got our shit together” shot.Here are the descendants of my Uncle Earl and Aunt Florence.Next up, Aunt Carmenta’s descendants.Here is Aunt Roventa’s family.And I can never have too many pictures with my sisters with some cousins thrown in.Here’s perhaps the most sacred picture of them all: the surviving children of Mama Rose Peatross Roberson.

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CJ’s Visit

I’d looked forward to my nephew’s cooking since he’s a vegetarian. He first made boiled Brussel sprouts and broccoli, seasoned with salt, pepper and a pat of butter. That was delicious, but his baked chickpeas was the truly exciting dish, seasoned with a fresh ground dry spice mix.He brushed the canned chickpeas with olive oil.Baked them for nearly an hour.Then coated them with the spices he ground by hand. Saturday morning, we hiked the Slaughter Creek Trail, which was one big, level circle, dotted with informative placards along the way.There wasn’t much tree cover along most of the way, but we enjoyed the little shade we had.We were the only ones hiking; so we got this picture, thanks to some people who had taken a break from biking along the trail in the opposite direction of those of us who’d chosen to walk.Once we regrouped at home, I took CJ to the Carver Museum to see the outdoor Emancipation installation and the permanent indoor Juneteenth installation.On another fine afternoon, we went to Zilker Park, so he could do some parkour exercises on the rock.He did a little bit, but not too much to justify another shower since we’d already done Bikram yoga.We took a mini tour of Austin proper, which included posing with one of the most famous graffiti in the city.  We’d patiently waited for a turn until the group who were next didn’t have their act together. I pushed CJ into position to take our own pictures instead.Next stop: my favorite costume shop. Even CJ had to admit that he’d never seen such a spectacular display of costumes and accessories all under one roof. Then we visited Graffiti Park, which was far more overrun with plants than the last time I’d visited earlier this year. I let him explore a little on his own since he wore closed-toed shoes, and I had on sandals.When we visited the State Capitol, I asked him to stand in front of Miriam Ferguson’s portrait. Not merely controversial because she was the first female Texas governor, but also her husband, a former Texas governor himself, was no longer eligible to run again due to his illegal activities. His political enemies feared she was his proxy.My big treat was seeing the African American Emancipation Memorial. I’m not sure if the memorial stood on a spot where a confederate statue once stood, but I loved seeing it in front of the state capitol, which was built by slave labor. After Bikram class, we ate at one of my favorite retox restaurants next door.Next on the daily workout list: capoeira! I made sure in advance that my “cousin” taught that night. He took us through one of his famous, grueling warm ups before we ever got to the actual capoeira training part. Gave me a beautiful reminder of why I stayed in such terrific shape when I was training.  (I need to pick up my personal work out game when I’m in the fitness room.)Even though CJ didn’t get a chance to spar, at least he had an opportunity to do kick and dodge drills with someone much faster than his aunt.For our last dinner together in Austin, we ate at a nearby vegan restaurant. Neither one of us were adventurous enough to sample the vegan cheese plate. He’d tried some distasteful vegan cheese in the past and I heeded his caution. For dessert, we shared a buttermylk pie with raspberry sauce. Now, when I say “shared,” I mean he grudgingly took one bite at my insistence and I ate the rest. Afterwards, we took an evening stroll along the Lady Bird Lake trail, starting at the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue.

We smelled Congress Street bridge a few feet before we got to it. Silly me thought a 16-year old boy would find the largest urban colony of bats in North America cool. Ha! As soon as he told me that he’s seen lots of bats before in Batman movies, I ridiculed him for nearly the rest of the trip over his lack of enthusiasm, regarding 1.3 million Mexican free tailed bats.

He told me that one day, I’d realize that he’s cool. I responded, “Yes, because in a few years, you’ll actually BE cool.” Hopefully, our brief time together on this visit, with all of our wonderful one-on-one conversations, added to that!

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Graduation Gift 2017

When my first niece graduated from high school, I gifted her a hand-made, monogramed laundry bag. It didn’t last too long. Since I learned my lesson, I bought a laundry bag to personalize for my other niece. Thanks to my handy chalk pencil, I outlined a rough draft message.Although I had a rainbow’s worth of colors to choose from, I selected four.

This was the first time I used 3D fabric paint, but I had very little trouble with it except keeping the pressure consistent. Nonetheless, I smoothed out the paint to make it look the same.

I presented the gift to my niece, and to my horror, the paint had stuck to itself while in transport. I had to pull it apart much harder than I wanted to, but at least the damage was minimal and she was happy with the message.

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100% 2017

For the first time since I’ve been participating in the Carver Museum’s 100% fundraiser for its educational programs, I used a lot of 3D material. I knew when I first received those silk tiger lilies that I ‘d repurpose them for this painting.

Since I had my painting breakthrough a few years ago, I’ve shortened the process by looking up the image I want to paint, printing it out, cutting it out, then tracing it on the canvas. With a road map to follow, the canvas has more than a prayer’s chance of turning out the way I want it.

I’m not too proud to admit that I really cannot draw and have very little motivation to get better at drawing, especially since I’m not the world’s best painter either. Yet, I love the painting process far better than I enjoy drawing.

Besides, my overall canvas quality has a chance of being its best when I use my shortcut and allows me to spend the most time on doing what I enjoy. As a matter of fact, I’m even happier that I saved myself time and frustration not drawing freehand since I had to trial and error my way through attaching those flowers far more than I originally thought.

Last time I checked, I had two bids on my painting, which makes me happy that someone found my work bid-worthy and it’ll fetch some money for the Carver’s educational program.

 

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Fluidity of Life

How fitting that Earth began as a gas that condensed and gave rise to such a watery planet. The fluids of our primordial soup led to our destiny of always being in flux. We live within interacting environmental systems and internal systems, which sustain us.

We create artificial systems of government, society, religion, and economy that tend to clash with the flow of the natural systems. Pure human hubris have led our species to believe that we command the natural systems without much regard to the consequences to our actions. As if everything we see and want we should consume, not giving much thought to the biogeochemical systems that brought those resources into existence.

At the same time, when we are exhilarated by an activity we’re doing, we harken back to our fluidity by saying we’re in the flow. Or when we are overwhelmed, someone reminds us to “go with the flow.”

The flow is inescapable. My only wish for humanity is that we increasingly work with the natural systemic flows and stop being destructive obstacles that block the flow. We’re making ourselves sick and destroying our habitat. For all of our collective intelligence, what good will any of our cultures, innovations, wit and almighty currencies be if ultimately we destroy ourselves?

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In a Bind

I’ve had bunions for years. My philosophy used to be, if they don’t bother me, then I won’t bother them. They’ve never hurt nor caused me trouble as far as buying shoes is concerned. Then, a few weeks ago in yoga, I noticed it: my left toe encroaching upon the second toe. Such a small thing, but I knew I wouldn’t wait until it become worse to do something about it.

I researched bunion removal surgery. After discovering the operation involved breaking the big to reset it with metal pins, I balked. I’d broken my left ankle in September 2013 and still have 6 pins, which is why that ankle and foot is already bigger than the right foot. Plus, even online research told me that I wouldn’t be a good candidate for bunion removal since they didn’t hurt.  With more research, I found nonsurgical bunion treatments. Essentially, I had to bind my big toes at night and reverse the years as a teenager and 20-something of binding my feet in ill-fitting shoes. Theoretically, the bindings will, over time, retrain those tendons. The big toes should stop slanting over the second toe and the bunion itself, which is a protruding bone, will be reset in its original position. After one week of nightly bunion binding, I cannot truthfully say that I see a difference although I’ve felt one. From the first night I used the apparatus, I felt a slight tingle a few minutes of having bound them. On the fourth or fifth night, I had the bright idea to wrap up the slack on end of the strap to get a better fit. That made it fit better, since according to the instructions, I should feel a little pressure at the base of my big toes, but it shouldn’t be painful. Regardless of the new and improved way I’ve bound my toes, I still wake up before 6 AM to whip those bastards off.  I figure the long hours bound finally add up and those targeted tendons cannot take it anymore.

The only difference I see is that I’m just about due for another pedicure. I have been nursing my left knee and ankle a little more by wearing a cooper sleeve on them. The tightness behind my left knee has diminished; so, I’m looking forward to slowly increasing my exercise regime.

I’m not sure if it’s merely the lighting, but after three weeks of nightly binding, the bunions look a little smaller. One thing’s for sure, I no longer wake up in the middle of the night, having to remove the binds due to pain. I tighten them as much as I ever did; so the difference must be that those targeted tendons must be loosened. Now that I can keep them on longer, I’m hoping to see more progress.

Another thing I noticed this past week is that the tightness and pressure behind my left knee has gone down considerably. That could be due to regular yoga practice four times a week, but who’s to say that realigning my left big toe didn’t help alleviate pressure behind that knee? At this point, I’ll take whatever positive thing I can get. I’ve tempered my urge to exercise more strenuously since the last thing I want to do is aggravate anything. I absolutely love the feeling that my “permanently injured” left foot feels stronger than ever.

The progress continues. I feel the changes more inwardly that what shows outwardly. My left foot has become stronger, which means I can turn up the intensity of my workout. I would have hoped by now to have remedied this condition, but at least I’m still able to tighten the straps and sleep throughout the night without pain.

I’m not sure if this is like yoga training, where stretching a little every day creates internal changes that cannot be seen externally. Yet, I diligently bind my big toes every night in the hopes of preventing the big toe from crossing over the second one and possibly eliminating the bunion. I guess time will tell although after 5 weeks, I thought I would have seen more progress by now.

At this point, I continued to bind my big toes as an act of faith that the pain I experience in the middle of the night in one foot or another would eventually lead to the complete disappearance of the bunions.

So then I did a little more research to get a ball park figure on how long I had to bind my big toes when I came across an alternative method. Turns out that although I may eventually lessen the effect, I’d have bunions for the rest of my life unless I have surgery. There were several different videos about exercises I could do while awake. The pictured above just involved using a hair tie or strong rubber band. I immediately threw my plastic binders into the recycling bin and grabbed a strong hair tie. For a couple of minutes an evening, I could retrain the tendons in my big toes and sleep without any apparatus. Phase two had begun!

After the first time using the hair band, I didn’t really like that method either since the band was so thin, the elastic cut. On the second night I used a hair band, I was adding some things to my weekly grocery list when I thought about asparagus.  Fresh asparagus comes bundled with two thick rubber bands. Perfect for retraining big toes! So, yes, I added that produce to my grocery list just for the rubber bands. Granted, I like asparagus but I also like I finally found a good use for those rubber bands.

That was the most comfortable, inexpensive solution I’d found so far. I stretched those toes while lying on my sofa, reading a book and watching TV. Again, I loved the fact that my feet were unbound while I slept. Plus, when the stretching started to ache, I could relax the stretch for a few minutes and then do another set.

So, after explaining to a friend my homemade remedy to reverse my bunions, she had the brilliant idea to gift me her scrunchies. After all, she’d chopped off her glorious dreadlocks a long time ago and kept her hair somewhere between shaved and a short afro. I’m not sure if it’ll be important in the long run that my toes won’t be separated by as much distance as the previous methods I’ve used, but the scrunchy was definitely the most comfortable.

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Looming Dead End

A dead end makes no sound as you approach it. No death rattle, no warning shot, no continuous beeps until you stop. Even as you bump your head against it, walk parallel to it while running your fingers along its impenetrable wall, most of the sounds you hear are inside your own head. That frustrating conversation, trying to figure out how you got there again. Didn’t you take a different path this time? Adopt new habits? Make new friends? Read more books?

But once again, you’re no longer progressing in all the directions you’d like to go. As you blindly walk along, trying to untangle yourself from life’s interconnected web of bullshit that you unwittingly walked into while distracted by pursuing happiness, you inevitably arrived at your least favorite destination.

Do all paths lead to a dead end?

Even when you’re in constant, break-neck motion, pivoting left and right, still not going anywhere. Periodically, you fling your back against the wall to rest and wipe the sweat from your brow and happen to look up into the sky. The beautiful skies are the worst. Such a contrast to your inner turmoil. If the skies were dark and turbulent, you could at least delude yourself into thinking that the weather commiserates with you. In truth, Mother Nature doesn’t care about you.

So you look into the sky and see heaven. Even an atheist sees heaven, but calls it freedom. Blue, beautiful, idyllic. In that moment, your imagination takes flight. Soaring into the heavens, leaving the dead end behind. Weightless. Stressless.

As you fly above it all, and regardless of any sounds you actually hear, it’s all heavenly freedom. Every last drop of it. There are no walls, no boundaries, no binds, no self-doubt, no inner critic, no needy friend, no overbearing parent, no illogical boss, no crazy politicians, no archaic rules, no that-guys (y’know, that guy who emails the entire company about someone who borrowed his stapler without asking and still hasn’t returned it; so now he’s ready to pull a Saturday night special on a Tuesday morning? Yeah, THAT guy.)

At some point in your flight, something terrestrial and pedestrian beckons. You retain your lofty ideas as you return to Earth. Far too energized to place your back or bump your head against the wall. Instead, you throw your head back and laugh. Look at how far away that dead end is now. Way out there on the hazy horizon and here you are back in the land of opportunities. Ready once again, to pursue happiness down whichever paths it takes you.

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Project Row Houses

One of my friends sent me a call for submissions link, inviting Black female artists to do a voice recording of a famous Black writer. The recordings would then be played in one of Houston’s historic project row houses. On Sunday, May 21st, we made a 3-hour road trip to visit the installation.

By the time we found the place, we had about 45 minutes to view the houses. We first checked in at the main office both to use the bathroom and to speak to the artist who was on duty at the time. Just so happen that she had been planning to move to Austin sometime in the hazy future and wanted to create a similar project there. My friend exchanged social media information with her and I gave her my card and invited her to attend The Austin Writers Roulette.

The first row house installation we visited was dedicated to the Black women who were affected by police injustice. The sound recording played a Black female choir, singing about being their sister’s keeper.  The adjacent row house had been wallpapered with block print designs except for the wall, which had been painted black. A screen had been installed. A video that scrolled the words to the recorded recitations, which played on a loop. We sat on a lone bench, listening and reading the words to ourselves as the recorded voice recited the passage. When my recording came, I ran up to the screen to pose with my passage. I love that the only word that photographed clearly was “MAGIC.”

After experiencing the installation, I used my phone to find a nearby upscale cafe. Initially, I wasn’t in the mood for “salad and sandwiches,” but I figured since we had a 3-hour trip back to Austin and they had a wine menu, this would be a quick meal to get us back on the road.

For the most part, that happened. I ordered their signature salad with smoked salmon and a glass of Malbec. My friend ordered her entree and a glass of wine. Everything came out in a reasonable amount of time although I had to ask the other server for water since that’s the one thing our server forgot to bring.

And then it happened. During our conversation and dining, time ticked on and we became invisible. I noticed our invisibility sooner than my friend since she was animatedly talking while her back was to most of the restaurant. She couldn’t see how the two servers buzzed around, interacting with all the other tables except ours. Our server briefly noticed us when he had to rearrange the small tables where we were seated to accommodate a larger party. He removed my friend’s empty entree plate before moving our table over along with the other smaller tables that shifted to the right to accomodate another large party at the far end.

That was the last time we had his attention. He flitted among the other tables in our row, especially the original large party to my immediate right and the newly gathered large party at the other end to my left. He even checked on the table to my immediate left, which was just a couple, but would turn on his heel away from our table, missing the few nonverbal attempts I made to get his attention by raising my hand and checking his eye.

I think it’s obnoxious to raise my voice to get a server’s attention.  Or tap, grab or otherwise touch servers as they’re hustling around every other table. Besides, as I observed our server’s interactions with the other tables, none of those people had to do that to get his attention. They were successful at nonverbal and nontactile gestures.

That’s when I started to play my least favorite game: Intersectionality. There’re two versions of the game: Invisible and Singled Out. In one version, the player tries to figure out why she’s been suddenly rendered invisible within a seemingly normal situation. In the other version, the player tries to figure why she’s been suddenly singled out within a seemingly normal situation. And when I say “seemingly normal situation,” I’m referring to how everyone else that the player sees is NOT experiencing the same treatment.

Whichever version of the game the player unwittingly finds herself in, she analyzes how she got there. So, in my case, was it racism, sexism, classism, a combination or something else? I easily dismissed classism since we were dressed better than most although I’m sure we weren’t the most moneyed people there.

The next thing I ruled out was mere racism. The café was filled with a rainbow of hues, including interracial couples and mixed raced tables. Even the parties where there weren’t any white people still had servers approaching them.

That’s when I noticed we were the only table without a guy. Even the two black guys who sat together at the bar hadn’t turned invisible. Since our server was an Asian male, I wondered if he had a predisposition to focus on men. Ironic because he had a female boss.

At one point, during a break in my friend’s conversation, I blurted out, “Do you notice that we’ve become invisible?” She readily agreed and volunteered to talk to someone about it. I thanked her since I’m normally the one who has to have the confrontational talk in such situations. Her response: “Well, you drove.”

She calmly arose from the table and confidently strode to the bar where the other server was. In the distance, I saw the polite smile on her face as his expression transformed. Then, just as calmly as she’d left, she returned to the table, leaving him to scramble to get a water pitcher and dessert menus together.

Essentially, she’d informed him that we were from Austin and we had not come to Houston to have a Black Moment. However, our server had not refilled our water glasses when he refilled the other tables to either side of us nor had he told us about dessert. We’d just overheard the description of it when he told the large party beside us about it.

The other server refilled our water glasses and brought us menus before I witnessed him approach our server and tell him our concerns. With much remorse, our server arrived at our table and apologized. He told us that he’d been very distracted by the two larger tables.

At that point, I held my tongue since the table to my immediate left was just two people, who had received the server’s attention, which I’d concluded was because at least one of them was a guy. While I had that inner conversation, our server described to us the delicious locally made ice cream. We both ordered the Nutella with studded marshmallows, which he comped.

I ate my free ice cream with less enjoyment than dessert usually brings me. It was a nice gesture, but I’d much rather had paid for my ice cream with money versus his embarrassment of rendering us invisible.

I realize this was an “isolated incident” only in the sense that the conflict was de-escalated and resolved peacefully and had not become an on-going protracted argument between the server or the cafe and me. However, that isolated incident has become the latest star in my personal intersectionality constellation. There are quite a few stars in that constellation. They vary in size and intensity. All the isolated incidents forming a pattern that’s easily recognizable to others who have similar constellations of their own.

When I look inwardly and mediate on a reimagined freedom, I see my constellation where no more stars have been added.

 

 

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