Did it

For the first time in my life, I just lived a full year without a single white person around me.

For the first time in my life, I didn’t share any kind of personal space with a white person. First time, ever.

It’s been very easy to deal with. You could say that I Got Out. And no, I haven’t seen the movie, that shit looked good and far too close to my life. Ex-life.

I didn’t plan all this at all, it just happened. The racial climate in this country and this world just kind of nudged me into this situation.

An insane storm of powerful things have been happening to me. There are many, many things to ponder on.

For instance I’ve always wondered why I never was attracted to D&D, a giant pillar in the world of games.

It’s because I’d been performing my whole life without realizing it. It felt vain to act on another layer. I just didn’t know why I felt like not wanting *at all* to pretend to be a paladin or a rogue. It’s clear as hell now.

It goes deep. My absurd resilience and discipline come from living in a world 99.9% white for a very long time. A world that corrodes and doesn’t care about me, ultimately. My tech career is filled with terrible stories. After decades through a dozen game companies, I have yet to work directly with someone looking like me. My current day job happened because a black woman trusted me. I exceeded all her expectations. It’s been wonderful, except for the reality of getting paid what a black man in America is getting paid. Resilience, blending with self-care when necessary. Black poverty, black upper middle class, white elitism. I’m visiting them everyday. So many layers. Constant code-switching. Learning. Paying attention. Deciphering. My roots running in opposite directions with no one really grasping the entirety of who I am. There’s no time to explain.

Black love —brotherhood, sisterhood— showed up. It makes me feel like I didn’t know that love could be so real. So real and smiling. So instant. It’s prodigious. You have no idea.

It’s very painful yet I’m blossoming. No time to play the “what if” in my head. I already know it’d be different.

This new paradigm makes me a lot more sensitive about gentrification. Not only I see it happening with tremendous detail by biking every day on the same streets for years, but because of my personal story, it feels like… A hunt. Can white people just relax and stop obsessing about growth, I fucking wish.

I’m grateful to know good white people though. They helped me out. You guys are far too rare, that’s for sure.

It’s also not the same. I don’t overcompensate either. I know bad people are everywhere. But black life is enveloping me like a thick bath robe after a burning hot shower following a rough day and it feels so good.

It feels so good.

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