This story ends exactly how you think it will, and in the best way it possibly can.
This guy asked me where I am from before I was born. That is some intense grocery checkout conversation.
There comes a point in every woman’s walk along a crowded urban street where she wonders: Will he act on it? Will he follow me down the street? Will he spit on my shoes? Will he tell his friend the latest one-liner about my ass in a loud stage whisper?
When I tell people, “I’m that person who gets bitten all the time,” they often reply the best way they know how, which is by dispensing advice for someone who doesn’t have a fucking clue what a mosquito is.
I was at Craftsman & Wolves, paying for my sandwich and pastry to go, when “Creep” came on over the airwaves. The cashier and I started going “Whoa-oa-oa!” in throwbackers’ delight.
Clearly not making room for her and her bike, I purposefully didn’t give up my spot against the bike wall. Her ears weren’t clogged by earplugs like mine; she didn’t have an excuse not to hear the announcement. I almost told her, “You need to switch cars. No bikes on the first car.”
As I stood there waiting for the train to stop, I noticed two Black women looking over my outfit.
“Oh god,” I thought. “They’re judging me for wearing this Wu-Tang Clan sweatshirt.”
I can’t drop a pin on how old I was when I started wondering about Aunt Marian’s marital status. It was during that age when I didn’t put any thought toward my teachers having lives outside of school. Based on the extent of my understanding of role and identity, they slept in classroom cupboards after the bell rang.