Thursday, December 15, 2016

Off-White Christmas

One Christmas
I ventured far from
the West Coast
land of my ancestors
and spent the holidays
in Maryland
where the people
were pleasant
and surprisingly
multicolored.

On Christmas Day
as I strolled the boulevard
with my white companion,
a warm blanket of security
and belonging
and perhaps universal
love
surrounded me,

and as we walked past
others I greeted them

“Merry Christmas!”
“Happy Holidays!”
“Season’s Greetings!”

I was thankful
for the profound effect
the birth of Jesus
had on peoples' kindness.

It felt good.

Two young white men
approached us
and they appeared to be
more than a little drunk
and carrying a few more
6-packs
back to their home
and as they walked by
they said something,
and I answered them with
“Merry Christmas”

but something didn’t feel right.

I stopped and
looked at my companion
whose face betrayed
a puzzled expression.

She asked
“didn’t you hear
what they said?”

“Didn’t they say
‘Merry Christmas’
or something like that?”

She said
“No, they said
‘Happy Beaner Christmas.’”

Shit.
Really?
On Christmas?

I shrugged it off -
what can you expect from
a couple of
gabachos borachos?

Perhaps they had their fill
of love and brotherhood
this holiday season and
my appearance afforded them
an unexpected chuckle.

Perhaps
they saw me as a gift
from their twisted
and diseased god.

Mercifully,
I was scheduled to return
to Southern California
the next day

and I’ve decided that
I’ll spend the rest
of my Christmases here

just as my ancestors
always have.

(Notes: "Beaner" is a derogatory term for Mexican-Americans, which is what I am.  Gabachos borachos translates to "drunken White men.")

29 comments:

  1. It's amazing that there are people who can only see one color isn't it... Thank you for linking up and Happy Christmas from a Cold Sweden.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, and racism can beget more. Thanks, and Happy Xmas!

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  2. It's probably because I'm twisted, but this is my favorite part:

    "Perhaps
    they saw me as a gift
    from their twisted
    and diseased god."

    What an awesome title. Great line breaks and double meanings sprinkled throughout.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, pure documentary this one.

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  3. It pains me when people are so obnoxious and that too especially near the holiday season. Powerfully written. Wishing you Merry Christmas, Mosk❤️


    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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    1. Yes, but they were drunk so I can appreciate that. Thanks, and Happy Xmas to you!

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  4. Telling piece and like the way you use Christmas against the grain. You have an original voice which I enjoyed tonight -will be back for more sometime... With Best Wishes Scott www.scotthastie.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, but there is very little art here - 'tis a documentary. Happy Xmas!

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    2. "Mary" land. the land of Catholics, originally, who were to practice the grace and forgiveness that according to their history she embodied.

      a long way from there, eh?

      If you go to the Rose Bowl parade, look me up - I'll be working in a pop up store on Colorado, right where the bleachers end. Cheers ~

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  5. Oh, do come to Maryland again, Mosk. Hostility and prejudice reside in every state, and every country. The good news is so do kindness and love for your neighbor. Goodness prevails. Merry Christmas from Baltimore :)

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    1. Don't get me wrong, I loved just about everything about Maryland. It was a great trip up to that point. Happy Xmas!

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  6. Sad that this happened to you ~ People have mean hearts no matter the season ~ Enjoyed the story ~

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  7. Excellent! What else can you do in humility?
    ZQ

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, all I could do is forgive them and write about it. Happy Xmas!

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  8. That's just horrible, prejudice is so unacceptable. Glad you wrote about it.

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    1. Thanks, but I forgive their drunken slur. Happy Xmas!

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  9. Some people can be such craps. The best thing is to shrug the off like we might do with a stinky coat... We can save our skin and our bones for the ones who deserve it.

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    Replies
    1. Wise words indeed, thanks, and Happy Xmas!

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  10. Wow, really? Still, at least you got a poem out of it. What did they get?

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    Replies
    1. They got a laff I think, so we're even! Happy Xmas!

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  11. Oh geez. I lived in Maryland way back and it was so culturally diverse...where did those creeps come from. Sad narrative told well in this poem.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, that was almost 20 years ago, so I hope its gotten better there. Happy Xmas!

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  12. Replies
    1. Yes, quite the shocker coming from So Cal. Happy Xmas!

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  13. I see less of that kind of thing here in Canada. Not saying it doesn't exist, but I have heard many more derogatory words and comments made during visits to the U.S. I find it very strange.

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  14. WTF? Why would someone do something like that? I just don't understand it, Mosk.

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  15. Instead of seeing their actions as hate, we could see them as the sickness of ignorance it is. A brief prayer for healing might be better than allowing them to limit our choices, or worse, infect us.

    Elizabeth

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  16. You told this story well -- interesting.

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