24 January 2009

I blog. The World Responds.

I moved slowly through my list of errands Saturday, saving laundry for late afternoon to avoid any crowd. That idea blew up in face - apparently a lot of people like to avoid crowds. However, while leaving my apartment to get clothes from the dryer, I was stopped.
"Oh wow. Do you live here?"
She was walking with her boyfriend and their two dogs, and she was Black. She introduced herself and said she had never seen me before. I told her I was new to the neighborhood. She officially welcomed me with a handshake, asked me my name, introduced me to her dogs, her boyfriend, and gave me her address. All because she saw me leaving an apartment building with a laundry basket. I feel like she gets her share of stares as well.

I don't mean to imply I don't like my neighborhood, because I do. I love the apartment and the location. I don't feel like anyone's hostile toward me and I feel like a lot of people go out of their way to tell me (polite) things using hand gestures. Things like "that dryer is all yours," or "forget the line, the first person who throws produce on the scale gets the service." I just really don't like feeling like a freak show. Being different gets tiresome. The only Black girl in her class. The only Black girl at her job. The only Black girl in the neighborhood. It adds a bit of pressure you know. I could do something to shape the opinions about all of my ilk who come after me.

Jesse says it's that we're in an actual neighborhood, where people know each other. He says not to worry about it and that it'll go away with time. We'll see.

For now, I'll be on the lookout for the couple with the dogs. They live near our favorite coffee shop. So I'm sure we'll see them from time to time.