A Letter to You Two

To the Girls at the Movie Theater,

After watching Get Out, my head was spinning because of all the potential posts that I could write. However, this moment was short-lived. When the credits appeared on screen and the lights began to brighten, I took a quick glance of the theater and realized that my boyfriend and I mirrored the dynamics of Rose and Chris. By dynamics, I do not mean that I am dating him because I want to lure him to my home so that my sadistic and racist family could exploit him – no, I simply mean that he is black and I am white. This should not qualify as a dynamic, but in reality this is an unfortunate “factor”of our relationship. There are moments when I do not think of this, but then there are moments when I am hyper aware – moments when strangers have stopped us while we are walking just to inform us that we are “a beautiful couple.” Yet the way that they say this phrase always suggests as if the speaker is applauding us for some noble act. As if our relationship is doing a service for the community. Lets face it, some individuals view interracial couples as the solution for racial tension. Interracial couples will lead to multiracial children, multiracial children will lead to a post-racial world. How can racism exist if we are all one race? Wrong. The answer to racism is not removing race and the prospect for a solution should certainly not be a burden bestowed upon a relationship. There is enough internal turmoil for a couple to face, they do not need added unnecessary, unrealistic, and fallacious external factors forced upon them.

The solution is awareness. We need to be aware of our racial differences and how these differences affect us. We need to expose our prejudices to prevent them from dictating our lives. Film has always been an excellent source of reflection, and that is why Get Out is extremely crucial during a time when racial tension has been drastically increasing. The audience of Get Out should experience a sense of horror, removed from the self, as they witness Chris’ encounters. Yet this horror should immediately become replaced with terror. Terror due to the political undertone of the film – terror that stems from the reality of the film.

My discomfort stemmed from the anticipation of leaving the theater and listening to someone make a snide remark. The remarks that I have seen circulating around social media since the film has been released. I tried to convince myself that no one would direct a comment towards me but you felt compelled to do otherwise. As we left, holding hands, you two began whispering, “Get Out” to my boyfriend while nudging your heads to his direction (as if you needed to clarify who you were speaking to). At first, I was slightly taken aback, but the more I thought about your remarks, the more bothered I became. I am troubled because I am worried that instead of using the film as a platform for open discussions concerning white privilege, racial tension, and much more, people will use this film to confirm some archetype of a white woman dating a black man. There is often hostility directed towards a black man for dating a white woman because the assumption is that he does not believe women of his own race are good enough while she is either experimenting or rebelling and using him to accomplish either. But I am here to tell you both this:

I am sorry that my relationship cannot be your fairy-tale and grant you a happily ever after – it cannot end racism.

I am sorry that my relationship cannot be your horror story and provide you with chills – there is no grander scheme to it.

Yet we can allow my relationship to be its own story by allowing it to flourish without pressuring it to succeed and certainly without praying for it to succeed.

Best,

The Girl that You Probably Did Not Mean to Hurt or Disregard.

 

The Demon

Greek-orthodox is one of the most refined and strictest religions out there, and my grandma is the most religious person I know; making it only natural for me to cause a disruption in her most sacred haven: church. My mother would bring my siblings and I a few minutes before Communion would start because she knew our limited capacity to behave ourselves there. I was feeling under the weather, but having no choice, I found myself at church that Sunday morning. I waited impatiently for the fifteen minutes before Communion, which felt like six excruciating hours. As we walked up to the alter, I could feel that something was going to happen, but ignored it, surely such a thing wouldn’t happen in church. I was barely able to tell the priest my name, or swallow the wine. Sensing that something was wrong, either through the holy spirit or common sense, the priest questioned my appearance, and patted me on the back, wishing that I would recover soon. Thus, the miracle happened only where miracles could. I felt it, and I couldn’t stop it. I turned to the audience and regurgitated our Savior in front and on the shoes of the first two rows. Ever seen the Exorcist and how the priest looked at the little girl when he realized she was possessed by the devil? Now just picture that face stricken upon the faces of around twenty churchgoers. I looked at what just happened and waited for some kind of divine retribution, but all that followed were mutters along with looks of disgust. I quickly headed out escorted by my mother and to the bathroom to wash up.  The previous jokes about me being a demon child seemed to finally make sense.

The First Kiss

The magical moment of a first kiss is a memory that will most likely last longer than the relationship it entailed. A combination of butterflies floating in your stomach along with the sparks of your lips meeting; at least that is what you believe you feel until you kiss another. I was in the park with my soon to be boyfriend, soon to be ex-boyfriend, sitting on the bleachers chatting and watching two dogs roam through the green fields. We decided that we wanted to have a romantic walk through the bicycle trail so I began to step down the bleachers, until he stopped me and I was facing him directly one bleacher below him. The moment I so desperately dreaded finally arrived and our lips touched. Then I felt it, I was falling for him, and I realized this as I began to leave the bleachers. Now let me make this clearer using better words, I plummeted, tumbled, and literally fell off of the bleachers. It seems that the bleachers gave me the feelings of a first kiss more than my actual first kiss gave me. The embarrassment caused me to become flustered and red in the face; not to mention the scraps on my knees felt like sparks. However, being a typical teenage boy, he interpreted that my reaction was simply due to his lips, therefore he could not stop himself from chuckling, “You are really falling for me.” My first kiss itself would simply be unforgettable if that fall did not happen, and the universe most likely took pity and caused the fall to happen so that I would be able to experience the true feelings of a first kiss.

Scribble Scrabble”

When we were little, we would grab a pencil, marker, or crayon and draw on whatever we wanted to. We would draw our mommies, daddies, and grandparents, yet no matter what we drew, or what it was supposed to be, it always ended up being a bunch of squiggly lines. However, when we would show it to our mom, her face would make an “O” and her eyes would become really big as she would say, “Wow! This is great sweetie, this really looks like…” This would cause us to beam and interrupt, “It’s you mommy!” The response would follow something along the lines of, “I knew that, you just didn’t give me a chance to say it.” She would then take it and put it with the pile of drawings that were all drawn by you, and looked the same, with the exception of different colors, on what was once her refrigerator. Scribble scrabble occurs when we have a picture in our minds but are not yet able to truly capture it into a physicality.

“You know, your brother really likes those milk cartons from school, do you think you could bring one home?” my mom asked as she sipped her coffee. I scribbled on my drawing, it was becoming uglier by the minute.

“Those thingys we get at lunch? Okay,” I replies, not looking up from my drawing. I loved the milk from school, for some reason having milk in a smaller container tasted better than regular milk.

At school, we didn’t have the nicest lunch ladies, which never made sense to me. If you don’t like kids, why would you work at a school, an elementary school to be specific. I walked up to the lady behind the counter, tiptoeing, so that I would appear taller and stuck out my chest. Just in case she wants to start a fight. At that time, I thought “muscles” was just a fancy word for bones, so I had a lot of muscles.

“Um, its it okay. . .milk carton,” I mumbles in a voice so lows that I didn’t even hear. The lunch lady found this amusing and grinned, she was missing her top and bottom front teeth. I was jealous, I didn’t lose any teeth yet. I wonder how much money she will get from the tooth fairy. Wait, mommy told me that when you ares growed up and you lose your teef, they don’t comes back.

“Um, please, can I have milk?” I asked louder, but before she could make a move I added, “Cause, uh, I spilleded mine and I am thirsty.”

“Of course sweetie,” she snarled as her stubby fingers reached over for the milk carton. She grinned as she handed it to me, and I smiled when I took it, but only for a second. She might get mad cause I haffs my teef and she don’t.

After lunch, I put my milk carton in my desk so that I would not forget to bring it home. I forgot it anyway, and the I forgot it the next day, and the day after that, and a couple more days. One day I walked in the classroom and it smelled horrendous, I wanted to vomit.  The milk! I forgots to take it home! But where is that smell coming from?

“Okay class. . .” my teacher began, she started to take in the odor, “Wh-What is that smell? Everyone sit down. I’m gonna. . .” She inhaled more of the toxic and her nose crunched up, showing all the wrinkles on her face. We sat down, not paying attention to what she was going to say and checked out desks for the source of the smell.

I walked to my seat. It smells badder here. I looked in my desk. The milk! It’s the milk! Everyone will laugh at me. I could put in in Tiffany’s desk. . .no, she’s my best friend. I could put it in Tim’s desk, he is a meanie, and no one likes him anyway. . .

“Andriana!” I looked up with a guilty expression painted on my face, it was Tiffany, she must have been calling me while I was attempting to remove the evidence, “Huh?” My face turned back into innocence, a skill that was not hard at that age.

“Andriana, doesn’t it smell badder here than in front?” Tiffany asked. Tiffany is smart, she knows it’s coming from me. 

“Um, no it don’t,” I blatantly lied.

“Yeah it doos, it must be Tim. . .” No one likes Tim.

“Uh yeah.” Yay, I am saveded. 

“Andriana, let me see your desk,” and with those words Tiffany stuck her head in my desk. Her face came back up, her nose crinkled, something traveled up her throat, but she closed her mouth tight so it would not be allowed to escape.

She put her hand up. Oh, no! I will not get in trouble. I pulled her hand down, only so she could put her other one up, which I pulled down as well.

“Mrs. Greenblack!” Her real name is Mrs. Greenblatt.

“Tiffany, you cannot tell!” I covered her mouth and she pulled my hair, but I refused to let go. Tim sat there, his eyes were popping out of his head, and his jaw dropped to the fact that two best friends were fighting. He raised his had, but I was unable to apprehend him because I was holding down fort Tiffany. No, I wish his eyes poppeded out of his head and he is stupid, that is why no one likes him.

“Mrs. Greenblatt!” he called out. I want to shove those words back in his mouth. He must have known that I was thinking badly about him because he also said, “Andriana’s desk smells!”

“No it doesn’t!” I jumped.

Instead of listening to me, Mrs. Greenblatt came and checked my desk. Her face came back up wearing the same expression that Tiffany’s had moments ago.

“Andriana, is this milk?” She couldn’t get the words out of her mouth. The smell was so bad that you could actually taste it, and it did not taste like the lovely milk from the carton, it tasted as rotten as I felt. Everyone laughed, my cheeks burned, I thought my skin was going to melt. I felt something hard and thorny in my throat. I couldn’t take it, tears tolled down my cheeks, but instead of cooling them down, they became hotter.

She pulled out the milk in one hand and pushed the hand with the milk in front of her as she turned her head away. This made the laughter worse. I hate them. I wanna put stinky milk in all of their desks, on their hair, on their faces, that way they will smell like that forever. Then I would laugh at them and drink my nice, not stinky milk.

Mrs. Greenblatt came back and calmed the class down, then she turned to me and said, “Don’t worry Andriana, things like this happen all the time, it just surprises me that you didn’t notice the smell.” She smiled. The class laughed. I’m gonna wipe that smile off of her ugly old face, put worms in her stupid apples, I’m gonna make noise at nap time. I ‘m gonna put an apple in her desk and then after a few days I wills how the class that the smell was coming from her desk. Then I am gonna say, “Don’t worry Mrs. Greenblack, things like this happen all the time, it just surprises me that you didn’t notice the smell.” I’m gonna say her name wrong on purpose, anything to make her cry.

Tim turned to me, ‘Don’t listen to them, they’re just stupid.” My eyes widened. Tim said stupid, a bad word. I raised my hand, “Mrs. Greenblatt!”

Tim’s eyes were literally popping out of his head this time with a “how-could-you” look printed on his face. Mrs. Greenblatt pointed to me, her way of calling on us. I dashed up to her and whispered in her ear. She nodded and I ran out the room. I’m not gonna tell on him. I am gonna go to the bafroom and wash my face, anyways, no one likes Tim.

JTM

Hello Stranger, I seem to have caught your stare, please come inside. There is something about you, I cannot bare the distance between us. Something is pulling me in. It seems that you have your own gravitational pull. Here I thought the Earth orbited around the Sun, but it appears that I find my world revolving around you. This feeling frightens me. This feeling, that I, an independent woman, am dependent on you. Without you, I would be a little less of me. I suppose that means that there is a piece of me in you, as well as a piece of you in me, maybe that is why I am so drawn to you, our pieces have their own magnetic pulls.

“Well, you aren’t doing anything, and I am not doing anything, so we should hang out one day.”

Hello Friend, I seem to have become too close to you, oh what a pleasure to have you over again. But this is how best friends are supposed to be. It must only feel like this because you are you and I am me, and you being you means that you are a man, and me being me means that I am a woman. Yet a guy and a girl can be just friends. We have spoken about this, we are just friends, nothing more. It’s the people around us who do not understand, but we get it, and that’s all that matters right?

“I mean, I am sure that we have flirted with one another at some point, but that doesn’t mean anything.”

Hello Crush, I seem to have fallen for you, please make yourself at home. I can honestly say that this was not my intention, but now that it has happened I have the intention to pursue you. I am afraid, pursuing these feelings may cause me to lose the best friend that I have ever had. Maybe I am mistaking the closeness in our friendship and the bond that we share for something more. I yearn to be closer to you, to be within your presence. I get butterflies before I am going to see you, I find myself wanting to impress you. I always knew that you would be in my life forever, but now I find myself wanting you to fill a different position. I have made a game to determine whether I should act upon these feelings. I over analyze your actions and determine if they are simple acts of friendship or if there is a deeper meaning to them. I have tallied the score.

“I wrote you a letter.”

Hello Lover, it seems that I am in love, oh, you know that this is now your home. I have loved you for a while, but I denied myself from being in love with you because I didn’t want to destroy the best relationship I have ever had. I thought I experienced love before you, but the intensity of my feelings for you have proved that was not the case. You were always right under my nose but I was unable to detect your scent, yet now that I have, you have become my favorite fragrance. I am intoxicated by it, by you, by our love.

“I always loved you, but now this is a new love.”

Hello Josh, welcome to my heart. It may be a bit shabby due to its prior residents, but I have seen what you can do, and I have no doubt that you and I can turn it into a lovely little home because you have the rent that the others lacked: love.

If You Read This, Would You Even Know Its About You?

All my life I have heard you say all the wrong things at the wrong time because I know that you don’t know how to express your feelings and that you say things when you are mad that you don’t mean. Or so those are the excuses that I have been force-fed my entire life.

The words sit in my mouth, I remain silent and nod my head, faking my sympathy, because I am afraid that if one word slips, it will act as some projectile vomit. Everything that I have ever stored will spew out violently. Like daggers, the words will slash at my throat as I aim them at you, hoping that it will hurt you more than it hurts me each time I swallowed them. LITTLE KIDS ARE EXCUSED FOR THE THINGS THEY SAY BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO SELF-CONTROL, NOT GROWN MEN. The difficulty to swallow, wouldn’t it be easier to let it all out? I GET MAD TO BUT I KNOW THAT EVERYTHING HAS ITS LIMITS. I feel the words on the tip of my tongue, I love the feeling that I get. I allow you to continue talking and I swish the words within my mouth, my favorite mouthwash. Yet when I am done with it, I swallow, never allowing myself that feeling of freshness. HOW COULD YOU SAY ALL THOSE THINGS TO ME AND BECOME SURPRISED THAT I AM HURT? I can feel them, the words crawling up my throat, lunging themselves, attempting to pry open my mouth. The longer they remain within me, the more acidic they become, and it begins to burn as I ingest them.

Temptation strikes me, but then I look at you.

You have no filter, your words are bacteria-infected. You do not have time to feel their acidity because you launch them out onto others the minute the thought enters your mind. It’s so easy to allow the words to flow out effortlessly, and then to simply recant your statement with, “You know how I am.”

Yes, I do.

Which is why I refuse to be you.

And at the end of the night, after we have talked, well our version of you talking without thinking and me thinking without speaking. I lay in my bed and all I can think of:

Are you proud of me?

Do you miss me?

What has become of us?

Can we go back to the time where you were the one holding the shield for me?

Can we forget that now I wield the shield toward you?