Open Letters:

From Me to Some of Everyone

In an open letter to the two men who yelled in my direction as I rode my bike to Zumba class,

“What exactly were you trying to convey with your ‘Hey now’? What about your ‘Damn’?”

In an open letter to the man who was displeased that I don’t have a “blacks only” sign perched jauntily upon my pelvic bone,

“Two things. 1. I hope you enjoy being a lieutenant on the blackness policing force. 2. Do you realize that you have a tendency to use third person when talking about us blacks?”

In an open letter to a surprising scrap of paper I found featuring my own handwriting,

“I don’t remember when I wrote, ‘I bet that no-flush heffa’ didn’t wash her hands,’ but I can only imagine how upset I was when I wrote it. I bet you saved me from an uncomfortable moment.”

In an open letter to the woman who just coughed openly above my head at this event,

“I am struggling not to ‘call you out your name.’ I am barely holding on.”

In an open letter to autocorrect,

“I did actually mean leotard. I did not mean leopard.”

In an open letter to her son who keeps running off with all of the batteries,

“In theory, no one should ever run off with a single woman’s batteries. What if I really, really needed those.”

In an open letter to the man with whom I engaged in small talk as I ate my dinner at the bar,

“Why would you ask me how much I weigh? Why would you push on the question once I told you, clearly, that I wasn’t going to answer that.”

In an open letter to the lady who reached over my shopping cart in the store in order to start putting her items on the belt,

“I sensed a little anger from you because I didn’t move my shopping cart forward when you thought I should. However, your four-year-old’s fingers were a couple inches away from the wheels of the cart, so I decided to, you know, spare his fingers. I’m trying to be a better person, so I not going to hope that you seethed all of the way home.”

In an open letter to whomever dropped what appeared to be a super or super-plus tampon in the parking structure a few months ago,

“I still feel guilty for not saying anything. I got paralyzed. I didn’t know what to say. You were at least a floor above me. I hope that you had another one, or at least that were wearing black pants, or that you have someone at your job who slipped you a tampon. I vow to be that person at my job who will happily provide both ibuprofen and tampons to those in need. I hope you can forgive me.”

In an open letter to the man who asked me whether my son was my boyfriend,

“Basically everything that you said, sir, were inside thoughts that you let out. Especially the part where I informed you that the young man was my son and you responded with, ‘I was thinking he got himself a good looking girl….”