...quiet, about a lot of things...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Slip me some skin...for Sunday Scribblings

I've mentioned before that my muse is a real person. The thoughts of him are very visual and have a kismet tone to them. Lots of our real life together was mundane boy meets girls stuff. But certain moments are etched more dimensionally in my mind. Unlikely. Ironic. Romantic and tragic. This next story really did happen, and changed me, in a profoundly quiet way.

Quick trip down background lane...Muse is an old lover. We were star crossed for a bit. He was at college. I was at another college,(soon to drop out...) His parents REALLY did not approve of me. Muse was a very good boy...had been an Eagle scout (on my honor..)He is very bright..and from a slightly sagging uppercrusty family. Sagging as they may have been..his parents could plainly see I was trouble, a distraction. His mother really didn't dig me, one little bit. Never invited to dinner. So that's the background...here's the story.

Flash forward ..I was about 24 Muse was 23. Both of us were living in the Bay area. Totally separate lives. I was working in the fashion industry, managing a showroom on Market Street. I always knew I belonged in San Francisco. I was happy, single..not quite Mary Tyler Moore..but close. I had stopped into a bar with my office friends. Margaritas on the rocks. I miss Margaritas on the rocks.

Standing at the bar, I was picked up, (yep, that's what it was) by the most beautiful young man. He happened to be african american. He had the most beautiful skin I had ever seen, amber eyes, and a wicked line. I let him reel me in. He bought me a few drinks, got my phone number,and promised to call when he was back in town. He lived in LA but was in the bay area frequently. He kissed me on the cheek, smoothly, and hailed me a cab. His name was Milton.

He called, and we dated for a bit. I have never been treated like he treated me. Now, my husband has a deep abiding love for me. But Milton treated me like a queen. He was quite a gentleman. Schooled back east,he worked for American Express. He was very articulate and knew about tons of things. He let it be know..he was interested if I was. He also asked me if I had ever "been" with a "black" man before..No. I hadn't. But as Mary Magdalen say in JC Superstar "I've had so many men before, in very many ways, he's just one more"

But it was different. It was exotic. He saw a beauty in me, in my green eyes. In my blond hair. In my shapely booty. I saw beauty in him. He had an elegance I had never known. He was Suave without being "lounge lizardy." He was cool. We never slept together. But sparks flew. We would have..but long distance is hard.

One Sunday he came to pick me up to take me to brunch. At the time I lived in Cow Hollow, just by Pacific Heights. Yuppie central. We would get the occasional sideways glances. But I didn't care. I liked being with him. Skin color was not an issue. He was one of the smartest men I knew. I was always happy when he was in town. So, happily arm and arm, we walked down Chestnut Street. Glancing up..I heard my name.."Wendy??". And there he was, my muse. Arm in arm with his mother. She was pale white as a ghost. We stopped briefly, though I can't imagine what we said. Before I knew it..we had passed...and Milton squeezed my arm and laughed, a naughty little laugh. He had seen her look too..but to him it was just funny..as ignorance and bigotry can be. She was a poster caricature of the uptight white woman. As she judged me..(clutching her son's arm, as though she may swoon,) Milton put her into prospective for me. He treated her as a child...unable to understand or grasp a concept.

That day I learned that people will see what they want to see. My muses mother saw all her dirty little prophecies come true. I was the bad girl she always knew I was. My friend Milton saw years of stupid bias. Blind judgement. He closed his grasp on my hand in such a reassuring way. He walked me past them,his head held high, and treated me like the prize. Nobody was taking that away, from him...or me. I didn't bother to glance back. I just looked into his amber eyes, and admired him. He was so beautiful.


For more Skinny Dips... go to Sunday Scribblings.
posted by wendy at 6:54 PM

5 Comments:

What a great story. It's so nice that you were able to take awful judgmental racism and turn it into such a lesson on self acceptance. I'm sure it helped you get over your muse, too!

10/2/06, 7:55 AM  

Sweet. Just wondering, will Milton see this post? Will your husband?

10/2/06, 4:18 PM  

I do truly love this story! Great job with the prompt! (Love the new picture, too).

10/3/06, 6:23 PM  

Thank you for sharing this story. I love the lesson learned in it. Bigotry surrounds us and I just loved the way both of you just held your head up high.

10/3/06, 7:53 PM  

Everyone should have a moment like this to look back on. Milton sounds like a very special human being--we're lucky when such people cross our life path. They inevitably leave an impression that we can draw strength from when we need to. I hope he too has had a good life.

10/5/06, 5:49 AM  

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