It was July 7th
I did not know how affected I was about all of this. Til’ I broke down crying in the middle of a bookstore. I did not realize how heavy all of this was. I woke up in the middle of the night learning about the death of Philando Castile, and Alton Sterling just died a couple hours ago…this was too much.
I got up early and left the house. I decided to go to the bookstore and buy some books that would hopefully help me understand fully what was happening, and giving me some ideas about what to do next. Because staying there and do nothing was not an option. I won’t wait for the next hashtag.
Finally, I was in the bookstore. I picked some books about black liberation and then took a seat. I needed to go over them quickly in order to choose which ones will I buy and bring back home. I sat down and started to scan them. After only a few minutes, I totally lost my focus. I looked through the window and started tearing up….
Not here. Not in public. It had to stop. I tried multiple times to wipe the tears off, but they kept coming back.
In the corner of my eyes, I saw that someone was standing next to me. I turned around and saw this old white lady who was so tiny.
She was one of the bookstore employee. I looked down at her tag to check her name; “Frankie”
“Are you okay?” she asked me
Her big eyes were so worried. I smiled back at her. It was a fake crooked smile. But still.
“I’m okay! I am o…”
Broke down in the middle of my lie. I could not hold back the tears. I could not hide my pain, nor could I ignore it. I am so fed up, so tired, and I feel so powerless. That is why, I guess, that I was now crying, out loud, in front of a complete stranger, in the middle of a bookstore.
Frankie’s hug caught me by surprise. But I needed it so bad. I let it all out.
Crying in a stranger’s arm….didn’t those things only happened in the movies? Surely it didn’t happen to me before this day. I calmed down a little. Frankie took the time to look at me with her big eyes, always so worried. And she asked me what was wrong, why was I crying.
Good question Frankie. Good question. Where do I start? Why was I crying? I had no words. When I tried to tell her I just stuttered. Why was I crying? Because the anxiety was eating me alive. And this anxiety was caused by way too many things. The killing of black men by cops. The killing of black people period. Everywhere. The denial of our humanity. The appropriation of our culture. The freakin’ system…white privilege. The fear. Fear to have children. Children that I always wanted to have but that I am now scared to raise in a world build to destroy them. I’m frustrated that I am even thinking of some unborn child…. I broke down again. Why am I crying?
Fast-forward to present day.
I said I wouldn’t wait Til’ the next hashtag, but didn’t have to wait. It came fast.
New names. New Hashtags.
Their murders were as horrible as the previous ones. The only difference was that I did not cry. Did not shed a tear. I cared of course but it just feel like I was immune you know?
As if I was used to it.
217 black people killed by the police this year in The United States of America.
And I got used to it.
It scared me. I didn’t feel anything. I started to ask myself some question; When did I got disconnected? When did I stop crying?
Why am I not crying?