Post Racial

eryc perez de tagle

I keep hearing people talk about how we’re living in a ‘post racial’ society. That racism somehow isn’t relevant to the younger generations. Man, I wish that was true. Wouldn’t that be great?

Here’s some snippets from a recent conversation I had on Grindr.

The guy who was chatting with me is significantly younger than me.

I think it’s safe to say this guy isn’t living in a “post racial” America.

Maybe it’s wishful thinking. It’s an attractive idea: a society where race no longer matters to anyone in any way, shape or form.

A friend of mine recently pointed something out. Whenever you hear people talking about ‘post racial’ America, it’s almost always a white person. You don’t hear a lot of people of color going around giving lip service to that idea.

I  wanted to hear more of this guys crazy, awful opinions. I wanted to write about him here, and start some sort of dialogue about race and the gay community.

I think he got wise to me, though. He was less enthusiastic about meeting me the next day. Maybe he was embarrassed about the idiotic things he’d said via Grindr. Or, maybe he checked out my blog from my profile, and realized that if he met me, I’d do my best to make him look like a Jerk.

It wouldn’t have been difficult. He did a good job of making himself a Jerk.

The Lonely One

I like seeing the middle aged Chinese man in the window when I’m walking home at night. He’s usually cooking in the blond lady’s kitchen. Pots and pans and sieves, all hanging around him as he tends to this or that.

I used to work as a local barkeep. The middle aged Chinese man was a regular customer, drinking whiskey and craft beers. He worked in IT, odd hours, which meant he could do things like hang out in local dive bars until very late. He knew lots of little facts about a lot of things and he was respectful. He tipped well, and brought in food he’d made at home. I probably bought him more drinks than I should’ve.

At the time he was single. And lonely. He walked with a limp, and carried a cane. My boyfriend, who also worked at the local bar, used to sit with him until very late. We drank beer, and ate his homemade beef jerky, or scallion pancakes.

Sometimes we would talk about him at home. I would worry. He seemed alienated. My boyfriend would shake his head at me and then touch my face.

“You think about other people too much,” he would say to me. “That’s one of the reasons why I love you.”

That was lifetimes ago. I don’t work at the local bar anymore, and I barely even nod at the middle aged Chinese man as he walks down the street with his cane, and his girlfriend.

Still. I see him. I monitor his happiness. He lives in the apartment building next to mine now, with the blond lady who’s lived there forever, quietly assembling an impressive kitchen. Pots and pans and sieves – all hanging around them, as they tend to this or that.

I’m not a big part of their life or anything.

But I like seeing the middle aged Chinese man in the window, when I’m walking home at night. I like seeing her come into frame, from time to time, and peek over his shoulder. I like seeing him fish out a morsel or a scrap for her to savor. I like seeing them happy, together.

Even if I’m the one who’s lonely now.