of the Mind
It was a typical Saturday evening, my family sat around the dining room table. We ordered pizza that night. My mother was looking through her bank account and checked off her budget. My father was reading the newspaper. He was an unusual man. He read his newspaper all day and spaced out of the real world. Sometimes I wondered what was so interesting about it. My father was living in the
writer's words. As I looked up my mom started talking.
"A girl called today. She asked for you. She says her name was Nicole," said my mother.
"Yeah, I was expecting her call," I responded.
"Who is she? Your girlfriend?" she asked.
"Yeah......" I said cautiously. I never could speak to my parents about sex. I never heard about the birds and the bees. I always thought it was a suburban myth. I never understood the title. I thought birds and bees were totally different creatures.
"So, how is she?" she asked. I
didn't understand what she meant, but said something anyway.
"She is sweet and honest," I replied.
"So, what is she?" she asked. I stared at her puzzled. Was she talking about what her race
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"You know is she Korean or American?" she responded. I
couldn't believe my ears. My mother was considering her race.
"What does that got to do with anything? Would that change your views of her?" I yelled. My mom stood there like she was about to explode in anger.
"Fine. Then tell me what religion she is. Of course you have to marry a Catholic," she said like it was a requirement.
"No.. what if I married a Jewish or a Muslim person. Would that offend your religion?" I said. Rage was in my mind.
"How could you live with a person who
isn't the same religion as you?" she yelled. I thought about how her generation had the hardest time adjusting to the new found of equality. In my generation and in New York City,
I've been around almost every race on the planet.
"Well in this generation we don't care about race or religion because
we're all equal," I said. Meanwhile my Dad was still reading the newspaper and
didn't move a centimeter.
"No son of mine will talk to his mother like this," said my mom. She sent me to my room without dinner. I sat in my leather chair and melted into it. I stared out the window wondering what was happening to this world. I stared at the wall for a good 30 minutes not knowing whether I was dreaming or living. I went downstairs and into the dining room where my mom was talking to herself. My dad still read his newspaper. I sat down at the table.
"So, what is she? British? Polish? Canadian?" she asked repeatedly.
"No......" I replied. My mom was thinking more about her questions now.
"How come you never told your parents about her," she asked.
"I did. I told Dad," I said. My mom looked puzzled and stared at my father like she could see through the newspaper. I knew then why my father always read the newspaper. It was his protection against the harsh world. I stood up and ripped the newspaper out of his hands.
"You're freed. You can talk and express your views. You
don't have to hide behind the paper anymore," I said. My father and mother both stared at me like I was crazy.
The next day I was at school. I sat at the table with my friends.
"Hey," I said. All my friends nodded and responded.
"How come you look stoned today?" Luke asked. I had bags under my eyes since I got no sleep yesterday.
"Yeah, I was awake yesterday fighting my parents about morals and racism," I said.
"What we're you guys talking about?" asked Sanjay. I thought about lying, but I knew I could trust them.
"Well, they wanted to know what race Nicole was?" I said.
"Damn, you must have gotten pissed off," Luke said. My mind was in different places.
"God, I gotta get out of here. You guys wanna go to the Star Bucks on Lexington," I said. They looked at me and smiled.
"Yeah, we'll come," said Sanjay.
It was 1:00 and I sat in the brown leather chair in Star Bucks with my closest friends. I looked at my friends and saw the diversity and what made them unique. I looked out and thought I was lucky to have an open mind.