A tale of 6 cities...

Scene I...

"Oh wow, my beautiful Black brotha, and note that I make a point of capitalizing that 'B'. I love your hair, it is beautiful and natural in every way imaginable... I love how young Black brothas are willing to join in on the struggle and free Mumia and be vegans and wear homemade or thrift shop clothes, 24-hour poetry readings in coffee shops, dream of starting our own non-profits for no cause or reason in particular. I love how we can all respect a world where everything smells like Nag Champa and Patchouli. I love everything about you my beautiful black brotha and I feel as if the non-denominational and never specifically-named higher power has put us both on this planet to share one another's presence at this time and space. I'm waiting until I am spiritually ready to start my locs, and no I will not fall into the white man's trap of calling them 'dreadlocks' or 'dreads' as they are not a mistake or dreaded. Peace my black king."

[Phlip note - Black hippies -- nothing like em]

Response?

"Uhh...
No fuckin' thanks, chick -- and don't take 'chick' the wrong way because if you get too aggressive, I WILL defend myself physically -- I ain't into NONE of that shit other than getting Mumia out of jail, and I would rather use the common sense needed to exonerate him than to chance being jailed protesting. Besides I gotta be my black ass to work in the morning.
Sorry, you're looking in the wrong window."

For the record, a recent blog by Dallas Penn causes me to peg this chick as the "Lil' Bro" or "Non-Profit." Because I am an asshole like that.


Scene II...

"Aye dread, where the weed at?"

[Phlip note - sometimes the short, to-the-pointedness housed in ignorance is golden, but...]

Response?

"Sheeit, I bet the weedman got it. Me? Not the weedman and I could PROBABLY get one on the phone right now, but that relates more to the fact that we never venture far from the events that birthed the stereotype that we currently find ourselves involved in than it does the fact that I am willing to sell, or share, some weed with you right now. All I know is that you could be the police right now."


Scene III...

"Wow, young man...
Your hair is SO long!
How long have you had it?
How much of it is your real hair?
How long will you let it go before you cut it?
Can I touch it?"

[Phlip note - DAMN, I hate old people sometimes]

Response?
Make the angriest face I can muster, as I square my shoulders while backing up to make it readily apparent that this (usually) 70-something white lady has veered dangerously out of her lane and could be in great peril if any of her liver-spotted cold-ass fingers ever realize the event of touching me, location and audience be damned.


Scene IV...

"*walk up and fire off random gibberish about Rastafarianism and yaddayaddayadda*"

[Phlip note - this usually happens when I am somewhere with a large Caribbean/non-American-black population, I look forward to this shit ALL next week]

Response:
Just nod it off and exit the conversation while offering as little response as is politely possible, smile and exit without removing your eyes from the person who has just approached you.


Scene V...

"I don't know WHY you keep that stuff on your head, you looked so much better when you kept a nice short haircut and so much neater at that. I can't see why any girl would want to lay down with anyone with all that shit on their heads, I know I wouldn't.
I know I could NEVER be with a man with hair longer than my own."

Response(s)?
  1. "Bye, mama... I'm hanging up/going home now."
  2. "So lemme guess, you're single right?"
  3. Muster the blankest stare you can form, do not even TRY to look anything other than painfully disinterested, not even enough to even bother responding unless doing so with some dry-ass joke.

Scene VI...

*Somewhere from 50-90 feet away, someone is yelling Bob Marley and/or Peter Tosh lyrics at me in the shittiest of manufactured pseudo-Jamaican accent, sounding more Australian than Jamaican*

Once my attention has been properly stolen, I am inundated with how much this guy -- who usually smells funny -- loves "the music" and "the movement," -- which he is never quite knowledgeable enough about to be more specific (no worries, I never cared enough myself to be specific), and various other issues that he thinks will endear himself to me. Inevitably, this conversation WILL turn to the legalization of weed, and this individual WILL ask you if you have some that you would be willing to smoke with him. That was what the whole song/dance was about to begin with, but it would have been too forward to just allow you to shoot him down and go on with your life without having 10-15 minutes of meaningless conversation with someone who smells like dirt weed and patchouli stolen from you.


[Phlip note - if it seems that I lost you with that one, look no further than the below-embedded video for SNL's 'Ras Trent']



This is time I will NEVER get back, and the sad fact is that the shit happens about twice monthly and has for over 9 years now.

Response?

Act as if you do not hear the original onslaught (an iPod or other music player used while in public helps this, this is also a good time to whip out the cell phone and start sending a text), and if this doesn't work then you are to appear to be FAR too busy to stop and hold superfluous conversation about nothing in particular. Hints? Look at your watch or phone frequently, as if to check the time, as if you have somewhere to be. DO NOT entertain this motherfucker, responses should be short, sentences including no more than 2 or 3 words no longer than 2 syllables. If this person is already high and doesn't get it, be a little more assertive and just straightup tell them you've got something you need to do.

*********************




As much as I hate to sound like Scene I above, I need to quote India.Arie and inform people that I am not my fucking hair. I am a generally approachable and eventually personable cat if the approach is right.
No, I am not here to save the world, no I will not sell or give you weed, nor do I want to buy any from you. No, I am not here for you to pet because my hair looks interesting and you've never touched anything like it, no I am not Rasta and no I am not interested in sitting and shooting the shit with you until you think we've made friends good enough for you to ask me for drugs.

I didn't magically wake up one day with a severe disdain for people I have not allowed into my circle, it took years upon years of training, and that of the last 10 or so years has been the most intense of it all.

And DAMN, do I fucking DETEST the smell of Patchouli.
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