Let me tell you how much I like watermelon. It’s sweet! It’s juicy! I like watermelon doused in lime juice and sprinkled with mint. I like the cool crunch of it, especially as July shoulders into August and the heat gathers its dull fury.
But why so small a domestic rave?
Well, otherwise I might find myself complaining about the relentless, interfering noise in my neighborhood. When I went out to pick the mint, I leaned into the street to see what racket had just begun, thinking it might be the planned driveway installation next door. But no, it was tree work two doors down. That’s usually good for at least three hours. Not long after I clopped my headphones on, the excavator that has been working sporadically across the street for weeks fired up its engine.
And if I weren’t complaining about noise, I’d be feeling some responsibility to articulate my rage and despondency about racism and unwarranted death and policing and gridlock and… and… and… For a while now, I’ve believed that speaking out in clear anger was part of the solution, because, you know, ‘denying racism is a form of racism’. I’m not so sure right now. I’ve hit some sort of wall and silence feels like the better response, or maybe, the only one I’m capable of right now.
It occurs to me: America needs an etiquette for mass shootings. America needs an etiquette for racist murders. Think about that for a minute. “Dear Miss Manners, I can’t seem to wrap my head around the recent spate of race-driven murders — too old to march. Signed, Weary White Woman.”
I liked the woman on FB who said that she ought to be able to “call in black” to work, just to give herself a few hours to grieve or find her own humanity (if you’re on FB, search #callinginblack).
If you haven’t read the recent NY Times article by Charles Blow, I recommend it.
Otherwise, find your cool, crunchy sweets where you can?
I’m going to the basement. It’s cool down there. And quiet. I’ll enjoy my bowl of watermelon standing at the sewing table, with my laptop set up among the pins and scraps.
Then I’ll turn my attention back to mid-eighteenth century, South Carolina. It is strange to feel the permeability of history, which is another way of saying: it’s awful to acknowledge how the hate from those years lives on.