Remember when momma said you couldn’t go beyond a certain point in the neighborhood? It sucked didn’t it? Nothing ever happened between your house and that forbidden point. And it always seemed that just pass where you were allowed to go was the very spot that free ice cream fell off the truck or money was being given out to everybody…except you! But what we couldn’t see then was that momma was just trying to protect us from the neighborhood’s perils. Momma knew that old man Johnson, loved to show his…well, Johnson to little ones just for kicks. Momma always knew best. But being older and finally being able to do, see and go wherever we want is like a rite of passage into adulthood. Yet here lately I have met and heard stories about grown folks who haven’t thought or even dared to go anywhere beyond their own neighborhoods… and they are cool with that.
Looking at history it’s clear to me that a certain type of person was more than eager to get out and brave this world, while other races were content to play in their own continents. And in my life and living I’ve observed that it’s a certain type of race that is always ready to jump out a plane or eat a roasted grasshopper just for experience sake. This certain race of folks can sometimes out minority a minority with all the fun facts they know. If another one of my coworkers comes over using slang or quoting Lil Wayne, Imma scream! But you know history has nothing to do with nothing in the way of making excuses, well logical ones that is. Hello? Black folks. I know I’m not holding my breath for my forty acres. It’s a new day. But when I meet people who have never been out of the DC metro area I can’t help but wonder is there something in the DNA? The water? What the hell is wrong with them?
My case in point. Yesterday, the female component of my office mailroom crew (DC metro born and bred) came into my cubicle all excited about her birthday in November. This year she’ll be 49 and is treating herself to a trip… So here I am thinking chica is about to do it big and go to the Bahamas or Mexico and I excitedly awaited to know the destination of her travels! And so I just wasn’t ready when she told me she was going to Ohio. Ohio? Really? Nor was I ready when she told me this will be her first time on a plane. Say what now? Or when she asked me if she could buy her plane ticket now and use it in November. Or how she explained why she was confused when her brother told her she would have to put stuff in a Ziploc bags. Nor was I ready when she whispered “Amaretto, I don’t even have any luggage.” To which I replied, well what do you use when you have to move? “Safeway and garbage bags Amaretto. I ain’t never been anywhere before.” But of course, garbage bags.
If it weren’t so sad I would have laughed ya’ll. Yet I was compelled to think about going and buying her some luggage. You hear about people in New York who have never ventured to any of the other boroughs even though the subway can take them there. I’ve even heard of people who live in Maryland who have never gone to Virginia. But I’m a person who feels one of her purposes in life is to travel the world, once I get my pennies together, or luck up and have some kind and loving soul finance it. It amazes me how some people have never seen or experienced the world outside of their own backyards!
I wonder…is it fear that keeps them behind fences? Do they think life has to be lived solely in the familiar neigborhoods of their youth? Do their curiosity and imaginations now lie beyond points they are allowed to cross? And is that why they don’t go there?
See You In Seven
SO LONG, FAREWELL...
The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot