Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Not White

"It's hard given the current administration?"


"How can you not love the current administration we all have jobs because of it."

I'm listening to the conversation between these two men. 

"Yes, but...I mean...look at -"

"I'm conservative. This administration is conserving things, it's good for us."

He looks at me.

"You know how great it has been for our industry. You are at the top of it."

"There is industry and there is what this administration represents," I say to both of them, "I understand the pros and cons, but honestly, the cons are very con."

"But, you have to know how bad it would have been if Hillary had won?"

"No, I don't."

"But-"

"I probably wouldn't have been told to go back to Mexico so many times."

"But your white."

"I'm not white."

"Well, what are you?"

"It doesn't matter"

"Like you look like there is something there but it's probably exotic, you know. I did 23andme and I thought I was 100 percent white Italian, but apparently there is 10 percent Greek in there. You should do that and find out. Maybe you are not what you think."

"My family is descended from devils and conquistadors."

Blank stares. 

I know enough about my genealogy. One half of the family is from Puerto Rico. Descendents of the Taiano and the conquistadors. One half of may family is decedent from Deborah Leeds. Leeds, famous as the mother of deformed 13th child that would escape into the pine barrens in New Jersey to become the Jersey Devil. I am an amalgamation of devil, sorcery, destruction and occupation. 

"You look like your, like your Romanian. You shouldn't worry. You're probably not as Latino as you think." I identify myself as Latino to the mostly Italian. 

"It-"

"I would have said like, Hawaiian. Maybe you are Hawaiian."

"You are missing the point."

"Where were you when this happened. When you were identified as not white?"

I answer. 

I should not have answered. 

"Atlanta."

"Atlanta, really? No, they are so progressive. It was just tourists. People from Atlanta wouldn't say something like that."

I stare at him after that. I don't know what do say. He excuses himself to get a drink and I move away from the venue, dropping my glass on a tray before I hit the escalators and escape away from the crowd, the assumptions, the underlying thought...

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