I wish I had someone, a brother, a sister, dazzling in melanin, to carry the weight with me.
Upset, I sent a message to a friend to blow off steam:
Sometimes the T— can be so simple-minded, rude, and racist.
Surprise. The Land of Smiles isn’t always so kind. Unfortunately, the poison of the past still trickles down to HERE, NOW, this existence I am in.
We are connected. Never first hand felt the pains of slavery, but the sun, unrelenting, singes a fire underneath my skin– a flashback every time I come out of my house. The electric SNAP! Then the hottest sting on back when someone calls me farang* because the sound rolls off their tongue a little differently with me; I’ve heard them say it to my pale friends, and it always sounds like a new word entirely. Seasickness crawls itself out of my stomach when I try my hardest, my absolute hardest, to make my voice as small as my fist so that they do not run away when I ask for directions. When I hear my voice come out louder than wanted I quickly swallow it, like how I swallow my frustrations that others don’t want to hear. don’t believe. don’t understand.
I’m in the bookstore just trying to buy a blasted book, minding my own blasted business, when he comes. Presence like the sun, tongue like that snap, and I feel the wooden floor boards start to roll under my feet, the smell of salt water threatening to pour out of me.
I’m sick. Of this.
And I wonder if they’re so quick to avert their eyes, their mouths, their frightened faces when I look back at them, acknowledge their presence and that mine isn’t any different. I wonder if at that moment they see the flicker of my ancestors ranging in my stare, and realize that bitter, rancid taste now wrestling in their mouth is something they should’ve swallowed years ago–guilt.
When too much time passes between ‘person’ and ‘sorry,’ SORRY has an unforgivable way of rotting.
When my friend responds “sorry” I know she means it with the utmost love and respect, but I can’t help but to spit it out. It’s been sitting out in the sun for too long.
I wish I had a brother or sister, dazzling in melanin, to help me carry this kind of weight, this heavy history, dressed in soft flesh.
Someone who knows the weight of sorry.