post written by: Marc Chernoff
I Am My Own Worst Enemy
A petite, light-skinned Jamaican woman sits with her husband in a crowded beachside ice cream shop in San Diego. Although she doesn’t speak loudly or occupy much space in the room, people notice her.
Her hair is long, flowing and black like a windy night. Her lips are soft and red like rose petals. Her curves are subtle, yet they dip and bend in all the right places. Her skin is smooth, brown, maple cream. And her clothes are modest, accentuating everything, while exposing nothing at all.
She knows why they’re looking at her. “It’s because I’m not white,” she says. “It’s because we’re an interracial couple and they don’t understand why you’re with me.”
Her husband groans and closes his eyes. There’s nothing he can say. They’ve already had this conversation a hundred times before. He threads his fingers through his hair in frustration and watches as his chocolate ice cream begins to melt.
Three tables over, two white college kids eat their ice cream cones and check out ‘the scene.’ As usual, they’re not impressed. The women around here are too old, too fat, too ugly, or…, “Wow, look at her,” the pimple-faced one says as he nods his head towards the Jamaican woman.
The prematurely balding one turns around to look. “Oh yeah, she must be a model,” he replies. “She’s way out of our league, bro…”
“I don’t think I should have to explain why this is so painful for me,” the Jamaican woman continues. “The media portrays white, blonde females as the essence of beauty and perfection. My color is simply a genetic defect.”
A chubby white girl, about ten years old, naively stares at the Jamaican woman while sipping a root beer float. Small tears stream down her face. “Daddy, why can’t I be as pretty as her?” she asks her father.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re physically faithful to me,” the Jamaican woman says to her husband. “Because with all these influences surrounding you, you’re probably internalizing your deep desires for a genetically endowed female companion. And it kills me! Don’t you understand?”
“Please honey… Are you ready to go home?” her husband replies softly. She hasn’t taken a single bite of her brownie sundae and all of the ice cream has already melted. She sighs and stands up, weakly.
Three well-dressed white women in their late twenties talk cheerfully and sip diet cokes at a table near the door. They were all childhood friends at a local orphanage. When they were eventually placed in different foster homes, they lost contact with each other. This special reunion is their first time together in almost fifteen years.
“Did you see those three women by the door?” the Jamaican woman asks her husband as they walk to their car. “Wealthy white women like that don’t even appreciate how easy their life has been.”
Photo by: Jasmic