|The Milo Pup. He loves everyone- which can be inconvenient 🙂|
I’m taking my pup Milo for a late-night walk, and get approached by two Black men. It’s Nob Hill in San Francisco, so we’re all surprised to see each other:
Them: OMG! You’re *black*
[Him1 forces an uncomfortable hug on me]
Me: That was incredibly uncomfortable.
Him1: You must be from San Francisco. I’m from Atlanta. it’s natural there.
Me: Uh… sure, yeah that makes sense.
Him1: You ever been to Atlanta?
Me: Once, I think. For a track meet, maybe?
Him1: Oh yeah! I can see that! You def look like a track runner.
Me: [Looks down at my post-curry food baby (Baby’s name is Wolowitz)] *Side eye of ALL side eyes* *Hella eye-roll*
Him2 (the tall, cute, with-glasses one): Err. look at your dog! She is so cute! What is her name? I just got a dog. Her name is Mila. [Shows picture of world’s most adorable dog on his phone. Seriously. She even had little pink bows at each ear. #ThugDown.]
Me: [Momentarily stunned by cuteness overload, so speaks instead of running away] *HIS* name is Milo.
Them: OMG THE DOGS SHOULD TOTALLY MEET AND HAVE BABIES.
Me: He’s fixed. He’s from the pound.
Him1: HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO POOR MILO OMG ETC, ETC, ETC.
Me: … That’s what they do to dogs at the pound! [Realizes I am talking to strangers on the street an my mama would bring me back to life and kill me again if this is how I died. Stupidly. Talking to strangers.] … K BAI!
Him2 (seriously- he was so pretty. it was unreal.): Wait! Where are the Black people here?? We’ve been here for two days, and you’re the first Black person we’ve seen!
Me: Oh! They’re in Oakland.
Him1: Um… How far away is that?
Him2: Milo, sit! Ohhhhh he did it! Good training!
Me: Oh you guys really aren’t from around here are you?
Him2 (what i’m saying is that he was built like a wide receiver: juke, juke, cuddle -erm what?): Well you’re here… There must be others.
Me: [Laughing at how much these guys sound like TinaBelle and I when we first moved to SF. We would spot Black people walking outside our building and murmur ‘wonder where she’s going… where does she stay, you think? We should call down and ask her! No… that’d be weird.’ *Sigh* And watch her walk away.] I’ve only been sent here to tell you to go to Oakland. Think of me as a Kindly Bridge Troll.
Him1: We’re just looking for the party. You look like you’re about to hit the party!
Me: I’m in a zip hoodie, fast flats, glasses, and boyfriend trousers. No part of me looks like it’s going out. And it’s Sunday.
Him1: Well I don’t know how San Francisco rolls! Work is tomorrow! You can party today!
Me: No. Not if you want to keep your job. That’s not how it works. [Takes advantage of a diversion- Milo is sniffing some wolf-dog’s butt] Anyways- got to go!
Him1: [Calling after me] Wait! Let me get your number!
Me: [Thinking OF COURSE HIM1 AND NOT HIM2. UGH LIFE, EVEN THOUGH I WOULD HAVE SAID TO BOTH YOU COULD HAVE THROWN ME A BONE] No thank you!
Him1: [Icily. Maybe. Or maybe that’s just in retrospect.] She’s says no thank you, like she’s got a choice.
[oh dear god]
Milo: [Casually. Sniff sniff here… sniff sniff there…]
Me: FFS Milo let’s go!!!!!
In writing this, I realize that this is a way long conversation to have with people who you think might potentially kill you… But all the EQ and upbringing in me wouldn’t let me rudely cut it off.
Actually, a few minutes later, a young girl and her friend circled around Milo and I (he was circling trying to find a place to poo -yay! doggie mom-hood- and they were circling me, and I was circling trying to get away from them ‘cuz they were creeping me out… it was a whole thing) to ask if I’d just been assaulted. ‘We heard screaming,’ the young girl in her Academy of Art hoodie said to me. ‘… And we saw those guys just before. Just wanted to make sure you were alright!’ To say I was heartened and impressed with these girls is an understatement. Girl1 was obviously reluctant to speak to me, but mustered up courage and did anyway. I appreciate that more than I could ever express to them.
Under any normal circumstances, I would never had stopped- not given a second thought to ignoring those dudes. But the kindred spirit I felt, the wonder of uncovering a Black person in San Francisco, arrested my city-sense. (It won’t happen again, mom, I promise)