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I received one of these a few years back. At the time, I was visiting home but felt like a tourist in my neighborhood. Since nothing sticks around in DC anymore beyond a few liquor stores and Starbucks I spent a calm afternoon speculating and avoiding the fact that the sun was setting and I didn’t want to go home, or couldn’t.
But I found a bar by a pizza shop that shouldn’t exist that’s a few blocks from a Wendy’s that I hear is leavin.
I couldn’t bare to wander in the wind anymore and found the idea of smoked wings alone appealing.
I didn’t ask for Miriam’s name at the time, after all we had only banded together to defeat some folks in trivia and to affirm NONBINARY BADASSERY!
I was well worn in the art of allyship, but that time with them felt more kin-like minus the obligation, yet embarrassingly foreign at the same time. I’m thankful that at the time my joy was tethered to this moment and not what had truly led me to the bar in the first place.
At some point we exchanged names. And at some point we chose to huddle outside in February. And at some point Miriam took out a paper that looked like a doodle-gone-right-enough-to keep from what I assume was a pocket— and I listened as they folded.
I left that night no longer alone and more whole. with a companion disgusted as bird; still lost.
I have since miss placed the bird. But never the love, good will, and acceptance I received from a stranger.❤️
You shifted my orbit
It’s been more than 3 years since that night. It really wasn’t “a night” at all, It was a time. In that time I got to feel something cosmic to a black man like myself. I was the alien who had stumbled into refuge.
I imagine, during the “before-times” of maskless meetings, that in the moments shortly before that night and the moment after are somewhere stored systematically in my mind, much like a library; and that night the scribes took the night off assuming another murky evening of mild mannered drinking, that only the orator in my heart stirred to attention and found way to listen.
The heart knows only the word, and it’s echoes. The mind has its glory in fact and time. And so does this moment, this time of kinship made all the more real by a heart’s song, playing cannon-harmony. It’s the sensation of being the choir, knowing the sermon is your breath and the words are where you find healing. Only the heart listens and know all at once, Home.
In my mind that night listlessly occurred and has occurred before, according to a world of fact.
But in the cosmos of truth, I found refuge.
I still Live as a tourist in my own home. I’m only anchored by the echoes. I truly only know a times of peace when I listen and allow myself to be revealed and remade.
Seeking hands of creation.