My twins, Faith and William are playing in the toy room for Quiet Time right now. They weren't grown in the same belly and they don't have the same blood and they don't have the same birthday. But my twins they are, nonetheless. She is brown-skinned and bossy to his lily-white passiveness. They adore each other.
They are playing a make-believe game that involves a vacation. The destination? Mississippi. I am waiting with trepidation for the day that they realize that one of them is "black" and the other is "white" and that this is only part of the reason that we don't go there to visit my old family who doesn't acknowledge half of my True Family (Again, see how I show respect with capital letters) and so doesn't actually SEE the half that they do acknowledge because "their" half is so in love with the "others." Poor stupid bastards.
Mississippi. What a disaster. I have had such mixed feelings about the place of my origination. Not my birth. I wasn't born (became full of life) until Dawn saw me. Before that I was just a hollow body being magnetically or chemically drawn from stop to stop, like the beginning of the old Oregon Trail game where you go from the general store to the farm to the cart-makers shed until you had all the supplies/experiences that would get me to Fort Rucker, Alabama where she was waiting.
Mississippi. I have no idea what to tell my children, especially my brown children. Will the white-guilt that I was brought up with show on my face and in my words when I am faced with the darkest eyes I've ever seen asking me about the N word or about Ole Miss or about Medgar Evers or God Forbid It!, about myself? How can I possibly explain how I managed to pull myself from the mucky sludgey hypocrisy that is modern Misissippi?
Will I tell them that their little faces sealed the deal? That they are why I will never go back?
Will they look at me differently? Will they look at my mother differently? Is that the day that they will finally be able to pinpoint what her fucking problem is? Oh, God, will they look at their brothers differently and hold them guilty by bloodline?
All this is Ms. Moon's fault. She wrote about that little red-haired baby being so adoptable because he's "white" and "cute." The truth of that pissed me off and made me ashamed again to be who I was and from whom I was from. Shame is such a haunting emotion. It periodically raises its ugly head and stirs my scarred but newly sensible soul into a mid-season tornado of regret, anger and cheap wine. Shit.
Mississippi - My Muddy Monster.