Friday, November 23, 2007

Wednesday, November 23, 1977

Psalm 27
Day 6

Got up medium. Dressed. Mom called Ms. S_, mom's oldest friend. We got there by subway with a white junkie and a Puerto Rican going to see his lover. Miss S_ is light brown, got blue eyes, and died her brown hair blonde. We talked. Me +T each had a bubble bath and a shampoo. Got a blow-dry. Then we went to Wilson's Bakery-Restaurant. Ate. Went back to her place. Then came back, went to bag. Thank you, Mr. O.

I ate:
  • Breakfast: fruit?, crackers+apple butter, sunflowers, 1 juicy fruit, pnuts, hershey chocolate syrup+water, 2 tsp pancake syrup.
  • Dinner: 1 strawberry soda, 1 fried+breaded croakerfish, chips*, ketchup, coleslaw, sweet potato, grapes
  • Supper, 1 sliver blueberry pie
Wow, that was an interesting day. I still remember it, though I don't remember the white junkie and the Puerto Rican lover--although I do think I kinda remember the latter. (Trying to get the most information in the least amount of time from a person is still one of my favorite things to do.)

It was cold and gray that day; it may even have been raining. Aunt S_, as she came to be known when we got to know her better, is Big Bear's oldest fried. Both are only children, but Aunt S_ was adopted. As kids, they went many places together, and my grandparents often took her on trips and vacations. Aunt S_ joked later that she always thought my mom was so sophisticated, since she was always reading movie mags and Vogue. Bigbear has always been a fashion and celebrity whore. Aunt S_ didn't live here; she lived in L.A. and was probably here on business, and this was the first time she'd seen my mom in ages.

But I remember that day because it was one of the earliest times I can remember feeling "apart". I almost want to say I remember feeling "poor" but I think that's my own grown-up feelings projecting backward. Because "poor" isn't exactly the feeling. In Paris, when I was really little, that was about all I knew, and people came to us for food and family and entertainment. That was during the 60's, and a lot of African Americans, as well as other people, ended up in Paris in protest to what was happening in America, because Paris was cool, or just because they could. Most of them were single or "coupling" but didn't really have family, and so all sorts of strange people were passing in and out of our lives. In Jamaica, we were "apart" because we were "from foreign", but we were there for so long and Jamaica is very "inclusive" if you do things their way, so that I never felt "apart". People came to see us, sometimes, and Grandma had come a few times but generally people came to us, as opposed to us having to "go out" for friends and family.

But I felt "apart" once back in the States, even though I was born here and spoke Standard English and my family had always been here. Almost as though we didn't belong. And I remember feeling that way that day, probably because of the bubble bath and shampoo. We couldn't do that in our own apartment; the water was cold usually and the pressure was too low. We went to others for warmth and comfort. That was a new feeling for me.

I'm loving that I wrote down all that stuff we ate. My guess, remembering the way I operated, was that I wanted to taste everything (Aunt S_ was staying in someone's apartment, if I remember correctly), and since things have to be "categorized", I categorized them as "breakfast" just cuz it would have been early in the day. I have to laugh, too, about the chocolate syrup and water. It wasn't that strange a concept, since in Jamaica we drank "chocolate tea" which would be about the equivalent of hot chocolate with out the milk. The chocolate flavor came in this hard ball that you would use a nutmeg grater to scrape off and boil. It was actually pretty good. I actually found a video about it. Gotta love the internet.

The Psalm of the Day... years later when I was in high school and sang with our high school's spectacular gospel chorus, the first verse of that psalm were the lyrics to one of songs we did. It was one of my favorites and I still remember it...

*French fries were still "chips" to me.

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