Half Way There

So anyone who’s combed way back in my blog knows that a couple years ago I was dating a man who I call my Beloved. I’ve often joked that only I could go to downtown Boston and fall for a  6’5″ black man with dreadlocks down to his ass–who lives in east butt-fuck Maine. (Or rather lived, he died more than a year ago of a heart attack.)

Anyway, he was kind and thoughtful: a musician, poet and artist. He was also irresponsible, perennially broke and his primary source of income was a room full of pot plants. So what with the whole long distance thing and broke thing; we didn’t get to see each other much. When we did we spent a lot of time in his van. (I don’t bring anybody home, and neither of us could afford a hotel room.)

On one night in particular I had the bright idea to park by the river behind my dentist’s office, where I had spent many long hours smoking joints and recovering from a two-part root canal.

We did our usual thing: pot, beer, conversation, sex, conversation…really I knew when the street light turned off that it was time to move on, but was enjoying cuddling and conversation too much to say so–when a cop car pulled up.

We opened the door, and, after taking us in in our disheveled state, he politely informed us that we couldn’t park there. We apologized, and, being the cocky bitch that I sometimes can be, I asked him where a good place to park would be. He laughed a little, and gave us directions. (Which I  instantly lost track of.  One you get past the second turn in any directions I’m lost.)

As he pulled away, and we slowly strapped ourselves in to do the same, we stared at each other in bemusement. Fifty years ago a black man and a white woman caught together in a van at two oclock in the morning would have ended in arrest, a beating, possibly even death for him, and at the very least public shaming–if not an arrest and beating– for me. (Yes I’m aware of how terribly lop-sided that is.)

All I can say is we’ve come a long way.

But, regardless of my personal financial situation, all it takes is a drive from my pretty, mostly white, tree-lined neighborhood down to Martin Luther King Boulevard with it’s bodegas and check-cashing stores to see what a long way we still have to go.

Happy MLK Day y’all. Doing my best to make at least part of the dream come true.

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