Another Old Stomping Ground

Today is another chapter in #ReconciliationTX. But we aren’t back in Sebida. Nope, we’re in another of my old stomping grounds.

After those rough years in Sebida, the preacher and I moved back to Houston. But the writing was on the wall for our marriage. As I filed for divorce and began to consider what was next, one thing came to mind. Like Jolene Monroe, I had lost my heart to Los Angeles on the old TV series, LA Law. I had this idolized image of the City of Angels as this welcoming, accepting, and inclusive place.

My six years there proved it was anything but. While I do nice the sunny Southern California weather, that’s about all I miss. Too many people, too much smog, and way too much racism. In some real ways, Los Angeles is every bit as racist as Sebida was.

One instance stands out. I was going on a first date with a black man that I had met online. We all know the rule – coffee at the big place. Since I had the kids, I asked if he would come to my side of town, a small area of East LA that was predominantly Latino. We got our drinks and were sitting there talking. After a while, I noticed that the man two tables over from us was openingly staring. I thought perhaps I was imagining things. So I gave it a bit of time. Nope, he was definitely staring at us. I asked my date if he had noticed. He shrugged and some comment about being used to it when you’re black.

Ya’ll know me by now. Think I was gonna ‘get used to it?’ Nope, I politely said excuse me a moment to my date. I stood up and sashayed over to the man’s table. “What? Haven’t you ever seen a white woman with a black man before? We charge for the real show.” I turned around without waiting for a comment, walked back to my date, and asked if he’d like to continue the coffee and conversation at mine. It took the shine of the City of Angeles for me.

Here in Swansea, being one of the few Americans that people run into I always get asked where I’m from. It a long winded converstaion that I have memoriezed.

Person: So where are you from?

Me: America.

Person: Which part?

Me: When you’re American you move around a lot more than over here. I was born in Tennessee, raised in South Carolina, twelve years in Texas, six in Los Angeles with stops along the way in Florida, Maryland, Arizona, and a few places I’ve probably forgotten.

They usually make some comment about how unusual that is, especially if I mention that I have moved forty-eight times in fifty years. Then it always comes down to the final question….

So, which do you like best?

My answer is always the same….

There’s good and bad in every places. Home is about the people not the geography.

So, yeah, some might be surprised at what happens in today’s episode. But trust me….that shit happens all the time in LA. And yes, it ain’t just white people who are prejudiced.

See you tomorrow for more end of the world.

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