This Time Last Year

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[journal entry] 12.9.2014

I walked to work. It was way too cold.

So, this morning I hopped into the white van of a stranger and somehow made it alive.  It was a biting 25 degrees. I had only 15 minutes of walking left, but I told God that if he sent someone to give me a ride to work, I wouldn’t complain. Seconds later a creepy old white guy pulled up.

And he was a very gruff man who insisted that I know that I was “sure pretty”. For whatever reason, he didn’t harm me. He did say a few insidious things that had me sprinting out of his car the moment he parked, barely choking an audible “thank you.”

I wasn’t driving my own car because it had been totaled in a little spin across the freeway in rush-hour traffic. Hit and run. Survived that too.

Taught me a little somethin' about prayer.

[journal entry] 12.10.2014

Stevie Wonder. Hot chocolate. Carols. Peppermint. Lights. Tinsel. Food. Gifts. A tree--in my house. Baking. Entertaining.

If I can be honest, I’m not really feeling the “season” while rushing around my job in my milky-latte-grime-covered apron. It isn’t hard pushing lattes to customers who just want to shop with something warm in their hands. I think I just feel bombarded by the undeniable pursuit of things.

But what set me off today, was when my skin color had been checked-in by two different people at two different times on the same day. They ignored the fact that I knew their orders like the back of my brown hand. They ignored the fact that I made their drinks perfectly. every. single. day. To the second one, I kindly said, "I don't think that what you're saying is appropriate."

I was met with profuse apologies. He offered his hands before me with sincerity, exposing the horizontal scars around his wrists and his forearms. He excused that he was Turkish, and didn't understand that what he was saying was offensive. He told me how hurtful it was when people labeled him Muslim, dirty-arab, and terrorist, even though he was a P.O.W. He said that if he'd known that what he'd said was that offensive, he would have never said it. We soon became acquainted over smaller similarities. He learned a little somethin' about American blackness.

I learned a little somethin' about kindness.

[journal entry] 12.11.2014

Immanuel.

He sang it. The word rolled of his tongue, accompanied by a melody, pleasantly different than the old hymn.

So simple. So profound. So forgotten.

He is with us.
He is present.
He is closer than your breath in cold air.
More tangible that your own skin. Here is here.

Learned a little bit a presence today...