I’m in the hotel room, the sounds of loud speakered jazz from Beale street thumps the floor beneath my feet. I am five floors up, and still I can hear the strands of BBKing filling my room….I can not bring myself to venture out into that atmosphere, despite my love of jazz. I truly detest Memphis….The entire place seems dirtier to me than any other large city, and believe me I have traveled afar. And the people seem more foreign to me than any other place. I am not used to be the minority and I suppose that may have some place in this…but deeper than that, I still quite often find myself afraid of black men. I don’t think I’ll ever let go of that now…and it’s terribly unfair to condemn an entire race for what one member did to me….but as my therapist always said, I simply have to trust myself and my feelings, I can not condemn myself forever for what has become a terrible learned lesson. All I can do, is go on each day, pushing myself as much as I can without becoming too uncomfortable with the decisions. One on one with a black man, I can usually start to slowly put a lot of the fear aside and get to know the person behind the color. It quite often makes me feel like I’m a racist person being taught that difference is good, but I tend to not think of it that way, because in my heart, I know that first I am not racist and second that all people are good and the same. However, take black men in a group, and I am one terrified person.
We arrived at the hotel, my traveling companion and I, and parked in the parking garage. As soon as we got out I noticed two black men in a car about 15 feet away from us looking at us. I thought little of it, until I saw that they kept staring at us, looking away, then looking right back. That sent my hackles up. We continued getting our bags out, still being watched, and I kind of under my breath said “already we are being watched”. Misty said, “where?” and I told her, “That green car, two men” . Being two women in a huge city, we were cautious but confident but we knew to get to the elevator we needed to walk within 2 ft of the car. So we walked briskly, watched the entire time, and getting in the elevator, Misty said “Hit the button, hit the button now”….and we were safe….but it all felt very eerie, and now we are wondering how safe her car is…..Very scary shit….*shiver* And so…..maybe some time tonight this music will shut the hell up and I’ll get some sleep….I was supposed to have a roommate, but word of mouth says that she isn’t coming (whoopee!!!) so I’m going to go under the assumption that she isn’t…the funny part is that I was dreading having the same roommate as years past who goes to bed at 8:30 and is up at 4:30, and when I got here it wasn’t supposed to be the same woman….but now, there’s no woman…how excellent is that?….We’ll see tomorrow….off to smoke another illegal cig in my nonsmoking room….:D how sweet it is….