A foreigner in my own damn town
PJ and I decide to write on ma maaama’s side of the river. We take the bus up to Aunt Leni’s Cafe for coffee and free reading materials. We are fortunate enough to get one of the new buses, so I am able to keep my breakfast down due to the fab suspension system. The bus driver says to me: “You got on the right bus this time.” He recognizes me from a few days ago when I got on the right bus but going the wrong way resulting in an hour and a half ride around the West Bank. I like the fact that he recognizes me.
We drink coffee and read The Gambit and the promotional materials on Algiers. Then we get down to writing. After, as I am fishing for change to pay the bill, the cashier tells me that I can pay her the 85 cents later. One of her regulars says “She ain’t from here. Look at her shoes. Where you got them shoes, girl?”
OK, so I got the shoes in London. But, I AM from here even though I haven’t lived here since 1989. I am a Louisiana girl. I spent the first 23 years of my life here. That should count for something despite the fact that I have funny shoes.
I’ve been here for five weeks. I still feel like a foreigner, and I wonder when this feeling will go away.
P.S. I have since traded in the funny shoes for flip flops.