Monday, May 30, 2-3 pm
BBQ’s and families all over the park. Douglas Park is over 7000 acres. Huge. How do we even find a spot to plant ourselves? The day is so hot, and the bike ride down was steamy and exhausting. The streets are pretty bad going down there, full of holes and strange bumps and turns. We pick a spot, but then we don’t like it and decide to walk over a bridge to find a new one. We find a path near a small lagoon, a crossroads, and plant ourselves in the shade. Slow down.
No one talks to us. At one point a whole family is looking at us, obviously talking about us, but they never come near. Another family watches us and even goes over to the sign to get a flier, we hear a boy reading aloud the text. We are a strange sight here. Aurora and I end up talking about segregation. How can we not notice that we are the only white people here? I remember once my friend Dante, who lives on the south side, asked me why we never did our hugs down there. I said I thought we could. He didn’t agree. He said we wouldn’t be safe. I never felt we weren’t safe, but I didn’t feel welcome either. A strange place to be, mentally. I don’t like to think about racism. I don’t like to think that anyone holds anything against someone because the color of their skin. Maybe I am still naive. Maybe I am living in a segregated city with people all around setting boundaries that they are comfortable with and letting them become obstacles we cannot cross. I want to cross, but I don’t even know how to begin.