Wednesday, July 20, 2011


So about a week ago, I was invited to the birthday dinner of my niece, who is going into the sixth grade. “Neice” is someone I adore, and have been close friends with her mother since about ’95.

Today I was having lunch, a rare treat, with her mother, who said, “Niece asked me if you knew that she knew that you’re gay. I told her I wasn’t sure, but she could talk to you about it the next time she sees you.”

Jump back a week to her birthday dinner when I took a look at her hair and said, “Niece. Have you been swimming?” and of course she’s been swimming all summer. And I had to tell her, “You are not a little white girl. You have to take care of your hair. You need to wear a swim cap and put some conditioner on your hair. I know them little white girls don’t, but you need to.”

Jump back to today. Her mother tells me, “She said “He doesn’t act gay until he says, “Girl, you need to do something with your hair!””

As I dropped the Mom back off at her work place for lunch, she said, “I’ll tell Niece that you know she knows you’re gay.” I retorted, “Tell her I’m more worried about whether or not she’s put conditioner in her hair!”

It’s entirely possible I’ve been put on this earth just to help little black girls know they need to condition their hair different than little white girls.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Songs have a universal power to evoke feelings and memories. And sometimes, the oddest memories can finally turn fun, in such a sarcastic way.

Let's call him Tony, just for the purpose of this blog. A friend called me and suggested I meet him, and we did, and seemed to hit it off. A few dates and he even came to my home in my little hometown. I remember once taking him to my Mamaw's house.

I remember going one night after work to the great metropolitan city to see the duplex into which he was moving. Turns out it's about 2 miles from where I live now, and I sometimes see it from the parking lot of a store, and it evokes a quirky memory.

At the time I collected light houses, and he gave me as a gift a beautiful resin light house. And one night he got a beep from work (supposedly) as he was an airline attendant. He drove off, and I never saw him again.

It was an odd passage of time, like 4, 6 or 8 weeks later that a letter came in the mail, delivered in some prepaid envelope marked "over night." The irony of waiting to weeks to send a letter "over night" was not lost on me. He told me he had taken a job in Alaska.

Alaska? I didn't really buy it. And it didn't matter. No return address. No response to any of my calls.

Some years later the friend who introduced us told me that she had run into him on a flight. He had never moved to Alaska. Oh, the shock.

Somewhere in storage is the first card he gave me, that last letter he sent, and the light house. I would throw it all away if it weren't for the trouble it would take to find it.

Alaska. . . geeze.