Refilling My Inner Well

Refilling My Inner Well

My boyfriend is from Massachusetts and has lived all over the state. From Leominster to Worchester, places seldomly pronounced as read.  When we first got together, he would talk to everyone and acknowledge their existence. I had always heard of the Seattle freeze but realized the depths of its truth when I realized how repulsed I was by his actions. You know that image of a vampire being exposed to light hissing and recoiling back into the safety of their darkness. This was me. I was that vampire every time I would see him eagerly waiting for his victim to make eye contact so he could offer them a cheery “how’s it goin’?” Disgusting.

So anyway, after about 4ish years of this shit, you eventually start to exhibit these unwanted behaviors within yourself, as I did. I found myself speaking more to strangers (horrible), waving at passerby’s (horrendous), and smiling at children/babies (the absolute worst).

It was not too long ago when spring was first beginning to bud. My partner and I were on our weekly voyage to our local dispensary. It was a beautiful weekday morning, and the first time Seattle had begun its day to a blue sky rather than gray. I don’t recall what kind of day I was having, but I’d say it was comme ci, comme ça (so-so). A day not exactly noteworthy.

I live in an area that is low-income, generational families, and fighting to preserve the diversity in the community from the multimillion-dollar homes less than 2 mins away. Yet, I see so much division and segregation within the same community of its citizens. As though all the groups of color work individually together, but not as a whole. And even these groups are further divided within themselves. So I had made it my personal mission to close the gap in my world by acknowledging first those in my own racial group simply by saying “hi.” As it goes, some people responded, while most cocked their heads at me, wondering why I was breaking the sacred PNW code.

While on the way to the dispensary that day, I noticed a black woman in scrubs walking out planters and pots to her curb for recycling. I must have felt pleasant that day, for, without thought, I lifted my arm that hung carelessly out the window and waved at this woman.  And as though she herself were as equally surprised by my expression of love not only matched it but amplified it. This woman, whom I have no idea if she has a name, face lit up tenfold, and she nearly dropped the pots she was carrying to give a whole-hearted wave. Her fingertips extending to reach the arches of the rainbow she created with her wave. It was as though she was so excited to see me, and she SAW me. And I accepted her joy, her love, her energy, that I at the time didn’t realize I so desperately needed.

Thick like molasses and just as sweet, it wrapped me, and I silently thanked Jesse for the gift he had taught me.


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