If I get to sleep by eleven o’clock tonight – i’ll get 5 hours of sleep. I’m hoping that is enough to operate off of. I’m @ the laundromat now and I realize that maybe moving out of this neighborhood won’t be the solution to what I think is my problem. You see, I think I’m a racist. As a matter of fact – i’m sure that I am one and I can’t say that I know how I got to be this way.
The neighborhood that I grew up in was INCREDIBLY diverse. There was every kind of nation represented in the most glorious ways. There was a Haitian, chinese, spanish and english service at my catholic church. Next to my building was a korean christian center for learning. Little Bangladesh was about 10 blocks walking distance – Astoria’s rich Greek heritage was a train stop or two away. Forest Hills was alive with the sounds of the Hebrew and Italian… And I marveled at all the things I could learn. The bodega owner 2 blocks away would be speaking to my dad in creole then switch to the next customer in spanish for their needs then freak a little hindi if need be – and HE was Korean!!! It inspired me then to collect as much as I could from my surroundings. I can write the hindi alphabet (devanagari). I can say “I Love You” in 13 languages. I learned to speak, read and write in Spanish through osmosis (way before I took it in college). This melting pot was a fertile feeding ground for my worldly curiosities.
Fast forward about 10-15 years. There are two services at the church – english. spanish. The old bodega is a bar whose windows are boarded up and there’s some guy sitting way up on a step ladder surveying things (he’s the only one I can see from outside). All signs are written in Spanish first, then in english. There is a taco truck on every other corner. The laundromat i’m in is blasting Salsa and Bachata and all 5 televisions are tuned into DIFFERENT spanish speaking programs. They all do a double take when I address them in their native language. I’m kind of disregarded for knowing english first – and never mind what else I learned…
It just doesn’t matter any more. The diversity. And what’s my response? Wanting to move to an all black neigborhood. *rolls eyes*. HOW IN TARNATIONS DO I THINK THAT’LL BE BETTER??? My people have the most uncanny and amazing ways of totally diasppointing me. Just… To the point of speechlessness. Case in point – our overwhelming obsession with “Flavor of Love”… EVERY black person convo I’ve heard for the last few months has somehow gravitated back to it and lingered for longer than I would ever want to. I wonder how Chuck D feels.
…spinning in a circle…