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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What Do You Do?

What do you do when you're in a fake-ass French restaurant in Scottsdale Arizona, celebrating Father's Day with your 87-year-old dad, your mom, sister, brother and brother's adorable girlfriend and the conversation goes something like this:

Bro: Every day I see financial ruin in this city and the worst hasn't hit yet and nothing...nothing...is mentioned in the press about this. Why isn't anybody talking about this?

Dad: Because they don't want to go against that nigger president...Oh, I'm sorry..."our" president...

Fuck.

Here's what I did. I sat there and took the hit. Didn't say a fucking word. Let it go by. After all, it was my Dad's day. It was a party for him.

So, I felt sick to my stomach. Felt all the hate of the world at one moment in every part of my smartly-clad body. Little polka-dotted print skirt. Colorful little top. Strappy French shoes. Dressed like one should when one goes to a fake-ass French restaurant in Scottsdale Arizona where everyone is older than dirt and the food is made to match. Nothing on the plate that could possibly threaten dentures. No conversation that could possibly threaten reality. The little pile of corn on my plate was as decrepit and tasteless as the clientele. And the wine list was an expensive joke. Thirty bucks for a bottle of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay.

Fuck.

Then I went outside because that nigger word was eating at me. I had to do something, separate myself from it somehow. So I harmed myself, of course. I stuffed it all down with a cigarette, got dizzy, felt sick, went back and ate too much, drank too much, so that I wouldn't open my dangerous mouth.

Then they started talking about my niece and how she's working for a Republican candidate in Sacramento or somewhere in that area. The conversation went like this:

Bro: If I go to the candidate's website, will I see anything that our niece is working on?

Mom: I don't know the details. I think she's an administrative assistant, maybe... But I sure do like that candidate.

Bro: Yeah, me too. I read about her and I like her.

Mom: Yeah. Except that she's pro-choice (said with a Snidely Whiplash sneer).

ME: Good for her!

Mom: Oh, DON'T say that to me!

ME: Well, don't call Obama a nigger then.

...

My dad came out of his reverie and said, "What?"

My brother changed the subject. Deftly.

I went out for another cigarette. And outside, there was the most amazing rainbow ever. What are the odds of that happening? I mean, think about it. What are the odds?

And as I turned to gaze at the sky behind me, the clouds were tinged with gold and orange and pink. If there is a god, she was there for me to behold, in all her glory.

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