Did I mention I tend to realize my circumstantial/emotional/FUCKING LIFE wounds in delayed release?
Last week a very obese, bronze, colourfully attired American consulate officer asked me less than five questions, typed straight-faced for five minutes then informed me that I was a filthy dirty nigger liar and my application was denied (and thus access to a large part of my identity). She didn't actually use those words (though I wish she had) in fact the only time she showed the slightest emotion was when she told me I had misused my visa in the past, I said I had not, and she let out a sharp, deep, groaning "WRONG!" that was filled with a viscous disdain equal to every bit of her large mass. And I felt like a filthy dirty nigger beggar, but had no choice but to walk out with my head held high, wander down the road with a dignified stride, look both ways, cross the street and make my way to a bourgeois coffee shop, in an Expat shopping area named Le Petit Village, where I sipped a cappuccino while a German man watched me with a wounded confusion as I had denied his open, warm smile, and an older, stately black woman at a business meeting stared at me with fascination; what could be so fascinating about a filthy dirty nigger failure blinking away her tears while dunking her complimentary pastry?
That was a monday; my male friends were out of town, and my female friends are bitches so I held my breath (and my tears) till Wednesday. Instead, I wandered through the hectic city in a silent haze. I made it to the mall, bought a movie ticket, had a beer at sunset, ate chocolate.
By Wednesday my breath (and tears) were long forgotten. Instead I joined the boyz and we partied hard with a town that was busting with all the fresh meat in for the summer. Old and new pretty faces beamed with happiness to hear I was here for a month and I beamed back and screamed "FUCK America!". I fell sick before the weekend and stayed in, ignored my relatives, shut myself in my bed, allowed my child to get lost in the feeling of family and not needing me so much. It was only yesterday that I remembered I've been choking on a scream that holds so much lust and hunger in it and there is not a single thing to say because everyone has moved on and who would I say it to anyhow? My lungs and dreams are fucking bursting with images and tears and filthy dirty nigger rage.
Do you know how many times this has happened before? To so many thousands of people over the decades of global civilization as we know it? How many times a person has been told, fuck what you know, you are nothing? Often it is in ways just as simple as mine; a letter; a word; a "no"; but just as often, of course, are the more graphic ways we all know from history class. Is it easier when it is just a letter?
Mississippi Masala was a great movie-well actually it was okay and I don't believe it is even considered a stand out in Denzel Washington's career, but it was great to me because I remember seeing it for the first time when I was but a young, naive girl. We gathered in my uncle's stifling hot apartment (the very same uncle whose home we now occupy, but long before he built the current mansion and even before his wife had to be watched over for fear she would kill her babies). Back then the crowded apartment was filled with relatives whose faces are a blur, but who exuded warmth and safety, all sitting in eager anticipation to see this long awaited film. I barely could understand it, save for the fact that it had to do with Uganda....and Denzel Washington; thus, of course, I felt only pride.
Who gives a shit about a fucking old house and a bush that is long overgrown?! When that man looks at the photograph he is quietly feeling like a filthy dirty nothing and beginning to hate the people who have made him feel this way (at least if you believe the claims that current racism from returnee Indian generations is a simmering response to how their parents and grandparents were treated). Maybe yes, maybe no, but for sure he is fucking screaming; I am fucking screaming, because actually it really is about an old house, a scent of flowers, a place I once stood and the deep hunger to stand there again and say "this was me". It is that fucking simple and being refused that is poignantly brutal indeed.
And it is about all the people I hoped to look in the eye again, who would see me in a way that just can't happen here; whose ears might hear my voice in a way that just can't happen here;
But now my lungs are choking with screams of lust and hunger, and they are too far away to listen....
Photographs don't look back; fuck what you know; to them, you are nothing....