Dec ’01 – entry 3

People Can Be So Rude

Living a year outside of the norms of what society dictates as acceptable certainly brings many things to light. One of the things that I learned, which I already sort of knew, is that people are incredibly rude. It is as if the horrible children that used to tease and bully the other kids on the playground in elementary school, only got bigger, yet never really grew up. They continue their childish needs to insult others, demean them, or label them as wrong or freakish because they are not the expected.

Let us start with the already established fact that I look unusual dressed completely in white in winter in California. (For those of you who have told me that I have the advantage that I live in California and can therefore get away with it in winter, you are out of your freaking minds. I don’t live in Cancún – I live in California, and something tells me that outside of the island of Cuba, you really cannot get away with wearing all white. And even in Cuba they notice.) I have had people say more disparaging things this month than any other. I went to downtown Los Angeles to the garment district to find some cloth with my Mom. She went to the bathroom and I stood outside. This gangter looking kid, who was dressed ridiculously walked right by me (I could have reached out and snatched the pick from his hair, he was so close,) and literally checked me out foot to head and spoke out loud the following words: “Fuck man, all in white, crazy ass …..” and the trail of profanity drifted off into the sunset. Of course when he passed by me again as he came out of the bathroom I gave him a dirty look, but can you believe the audacity?!

OK, let us visit the second incident. I took my godparents who were in town for a week or so, out to lunch to a restaurant. As we were in the parking lot, this chick (yes I use the term disrespectfully) hanging on her boyfriend’s arm, who was on the opposite side of the parking lot said in a NON-WHISPER, “Oh my GOD, they are all in white!” Now, I would like to pose a question to all of you, “WHAT HAPPENED TO WHISPERING OR WAITING TILL YOU GET IN THE CAR TO COMMENT ON SOMETHING?!!!!!” She easily could have whispered it to her boyfriend and I would never have noticed.

The third incident. I am in a supermarket getting my lunch. This place is in Newport Beach, which for those of you who don’t know, is an affluent neighborhood on the water, based around a harbor with lots of retired wealthy citizens. The staff of the store has seen me so many times in this place that they are used to me. I go to the cashier to pay for my sandwich, and the lady in front of me rudely gives me the “once over” with her eyes and says, “Well you’re the man from white!” and I looked at her and noticed that she was wearing red heels, a red “scotch tape” plaid skirt, a red sweater, and I replied, “Yes, and you are the lady from red!” The cashier thought it was hilarious and started laughing and pointing at the lady. So I looked at the cashier and asked her, “Why is it that when someone dressed all in one color it is no big deal, for example, red. But if I dress all in white, it is scandalous?!” And she just shrugged. The dissed lady turned on her high hell, grabbed her bag and trotted out of the store.

The fourth incident, I was once again in downtown LA with my mom, only this time we were shoe shopping. It was pouring and this time I had my favorite prop, the white pimp-brella with me (photo coming soon) and I was on a mission to find shoes, so I was walking full steam ahead, and my mom was close behind me with her black umbrella. As we are heading back to the car, some lady right next to me (once again, withing pick-snatching distance) said, “Wow, all white huh? Well don’t get dirty! hahah” This time, my kick-ass mom turned around and said, “Well you are all in black, so why is it such a big deal if he is all in white, huh?” And we both just kept on a walking. GO MOM! She is the wind beneath my wings.

Now on a very positive note, a wonderful incident happened when I was dropping my godparents off at the Long Beach airport for their flight home to New York. I was standing outside under the overhang area while my godparents were entering the terminal, and I noticed an African American gentleman in an athletic style jersey with dreadlocks come out of the ticketing building and head for the terminal. The second he passed the doors I noticed him and I didn’t know what about him was grabbing my attention, and suddenly, he crossed his arms across his chest and said, “Alafia!” to me! Alafia means peace in Lukumi and is used as a was of greeting another in the religion or to ask for a blessing. I was so shocked that he recognized what I was, that I in turn said “Bendición” – which is the spanish word for blessing, which is usually asked of another priest for their blessing, when I should have said “Santo” – to bless him. Anyways, other than my flub, he recognized that I was a priest and actually asked for my blessing. I was so moved and touched by that in light of the daily crap I usually get that it made my month. He then entered the terminal and got in line behind my godparents and asked them for their blessings as well. I later spoke with my godfather and learned from him that he is a child of Shangó, but is not crowned yet and that he is from New York. This man was my spirtual brother! How cool. If you are out there and you are reading this, may Shangó bless you always and may he always fight your wars for you. Alafia to you my brother and friend!

Next Chapter >>> More Pimp Accessories



  1. Ashe to you! Maferefun Shango

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