The noose is heavy. I mean it’s really really heavy. I am aware that this thing is a bad talisman; no one looks at me for long and goes on as if it’s not happening, aggressively ignoring me. Except for this one elderly woman who surprised me because she stood behind me and shouted, “EXCUSE ME!” I turned around and looked down and saw her face twisted in true anguish as she asked me, “why are you wearing that noose around your neck?” Stunned by her question, I realized right then how unprepared I was should anyone actually confront me. The look on her face I took personally. I was responsible for this woman’s pain and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to inflict that kind of hurt. I stammered, “It’s a protest . . .” She responded, “oh,” turned around and walked away.
There are times I really want to put Noose down, that I lack the will to follow through; it’s so painful wearing it. Then I see police cars surrounding a group of men or have pulled someone over and wonder whether the stop is legit, or, read about the latest tragedy befalling some person, some black person who was minding her own business and finding out, often too late, that she doesn’t have the luxury of having a personal space, a place I’ve found myself in too many instances.