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Beauty, Blackness, & Booty Calls

Campus | December 7, 2015

They balled you up.

And it was quick, under a minute. Bang and there you were amongst a heaping pile of Chipotle receipts and forgotten to do lists. Another speck in the room. You oozed out of the bed and gathered your clothes in silence. Why did you do this? And because they could see that your feelings were hurt, they began to award you.

“Tonight was really fun”: badge of honor.

They let you know that they chose you. That they, out of the 100 soulless faces that crowded around a keg, wanted you. And they wanted you because you were special. The darker berry that proved just as easy to wipe from their lips as any other.

“We should hangout again sometime”: magna cum laude.

And just when all of your prizes and clothes almost became too much to carry, you remembered the glorious crown that your partner for the evening bestowed upon you: “first black guy I’ve ever hooked up with.”

Ding ding ding! 

And just like that, you were a winner. The world class show pony that was always good for a shadowy, midnight booty call. They leaned back against the headboard and watched you put your clothes back on. You felt your flesh start to burn. You felt as their eyes pierced into your back with the strength of a thousand suns because you, better than anyone, knew exactly what was happening. You were getting stored away. You, the special one, were simply being slid right into the trophy cabinet along with everything else. You, the chosen one, brushed past the perfect attendance award and the Eagle Scout plaque and claimed your very own place. Another feat for Christopher Columbus who sailed the ocean blue in 1492 and had been stealing your sense of self ever since.

You don’t get angry though. Because it’s the other black boys who get mad. It’s the ones with unruly hair who shout and scream. It’s the ones who can’t quote the Canterbury Tales and hang on street corners, who tear things apart. But not you. You occasionally listen to R&B, have nice cropped hair, and know exactly how to behave. You never spoke over them or threw too much of a fit when they mocked your existence. The perfect, gift wrapped dosage of blackness minus the rage and all the other complexities.

You still speak to them. A lunch here or there. But it’s different now. You have bite marks in your flesh. A fork in your back. How long could this last? Because quite frankly you’re tired of going to Dewick and always being on the menu.