A View From Inside-Part II
My beautiful friends. I say that from a literal standpoint. I am a Libra, I revel in that. Libras have an affinity for beauty, the finer things. However, I have been blessed with people in my life who have the inner beauty as well as the outer. I look at them and enjoy their company. They remind me that there is still quite a bit of good out there in the world.. When the ugliness come to the forefront. I know I have secret weapons in my life.
I met the real life version of “Alice In Wonderland” when I was 22 years old. I had been raised in a predominately black suburban environment, so my contact with white people my age directly did not really happen until college.
Let’s call my friend, Dena. There are others I mention(Kim B., Cyndi H., Rachel F.) who I did NOT care for and they will get No love or respect, their names and ugliness will be out there. If Disney needed a model for Alice, Dena was it. Dena came to work with me at my second real job for a large retail drug chain in their administrative offices. It was strange she and I took a liking to one another. As time went on and we discovered our backgrounds it would become more logical as well as illogical that we did become “friends”. I trained Dena, we had lunch together, we exchanged gifts. Odd as it seems we did not go out much or have each other’s phone number. However, that was 33 years ago, memory may not be exact.
Dena was younger than I was and single. She was a California girl who as the result of divorced found herself in Salt Lake City, Utah. We laughed over lunch how her primitive classmates asked, “If she had ever seen a real black person before and what were they like?” We never found irony in our being friends, at least we never discussed it. Dena was a Mormon too.
One day Dena quit the job, we did a farewell lunch and cake for her ( I was in charge of the festivities because everyone KNEW we were close) and I never saw or heard from her again. I didn’t feel hurt or cheated. I was not surprised she divorced herself from her experience with the job, and me for that matter. However, I remember her. She was in my opinion “kinda pretty”. She had gorgeous long blonde hair, ANYONE would envy. She was a nice, fun, kind person. I wish we had remained or actually became real friends, I think we could have learned a lot from one another.
In spite of my upbringing, environment, and late interaction with white people on a personal level, Dena was not my first “BLONDE friend”. She was also not my last nor was she my only. I wonder what they thought beyond conversations we had about subject matter, which did in fact transcend race. I do NOT believe they befriend me because of or even in spite of race. My being black, like their being white, came as a interesting as-a-matter-of-fact snippet. I LOVE that about those “friendships” too. I have always connected with PEOPLE based on a vibe, the energy their souls give off. I know that I am not unusual in that. Let me generalize here; black people have to go by what their inner eye tells them, white people by and large are performers/chameleons(Kim B., Cyndi H., Rachel F.) . Therefore I also recognize many of these connections were simply associations rather than friendships. They were relationships though and you have to start somewhere.