Kids. Kids have no idea what trauma is until hindsight. Hindsight is the adult’s burden. Ignorance is the child’s.
“Of course, we realize, we are all racist. White people that is.”
“Do you believe that?”
He said nothing else.
“I am derailing a bit but it’s only to paint a better story. We all have work to undo. We all have guilt festering. My story, this one, is of a nine year old girl learning how the world operates both for her and against her as she is juxtaposed against two low income neighborhoods, living in a low income house herself, however, on the right side of the neighborhoods where the schools are rich even if she wasn’t.”
“I see.”
Men always said that but rarely was it true.
“Not yet. Your job is to discern which one is the lie after all.”
He paused but I could tell he wanted to speak so I held still in the story.
“You have a clever way.”
One time, and this is true and I didn’t tell him, one time to get out of something I simply fell down. I feigned tripping so the attention would be on the sudden fall. That is how it goes.
“The time is passing at least.”
He nodded. Outside, the church bell went off.
It’s eight pm.

“Curfew,” he said.
“It’s funny,” and I did smile. “Had you told me a year ago that the city would be pitch black, ice cold, no phones and only certain neighborhoods would be patrolled for safety, I would have believed you, well, maybe not about the phones. That’s the killer, but I never would have seen myself on this side of town, and alone.”
“You always had friends.”
“My man, I grew up surrounded by people. I’ve always had friends.This,” I held my arms out gesturing to my situation, “is hell.”

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