(written after an interaction with an uber driver on my way home from performing at the Uptown Club in Oakland)
You saw a happy, tipsy, fat, black woman and assumed I was a straight club girl on her way home from a night of partying. You assumed I was blowing off steam after work, caught in a revolving ritual that would go from 5 p.m. on Friday till 2 a.m. on Sunday morning-
just enough time to sober up before church.
You questioned me prodding and poking.
I wondered if you felt comfortable doing so because I am black just like you.
You asked me:
Why I haven’t settled down.
What my mother thought about what I was doing with my life.
Wasn’t I interested in school?
Wasn’t interested in having kids?
I realized because of your assumptions you assumed I was someone you should save, could save and when I assured you of my self sufficiency you were wounded.
You accused me of thinking that black men were unnecessary, and my independence of being a double edged sword which cuts into my femininity while cutting off the masculinity of my ethnicity.
And I smiled to myself.
I smiled to myself because a younger me would have said
You..you are incorrect!
while living as if you were speaking gospel.
My humility was the first step on the staircase of my soul that my man used to left himself up
the second step was my happiness
third my sexuality,
a fourth my future
a fifth of my sanity.
I should have been angry at you for blaming black women who can feed, clothe, and defend themselves for the collapse of a society I wasn’t.
I felt sorry for you.
I felt sorry for how much power you are giving away. Just like all the power I was giving away.
For me those days are over.
My future lovers will not be intimidated by my strength.
My future lovers will walk besides me evenly yoked in it.
My future lovers will answer to its siren song fearlessly and together we shall create harmonies unheard of as we wrap our chords together.
You assumed I was a of kind woman,
a woman I have once been
I am glad I am that woman no more.