Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
Opening the door, I was confronted with a sea of white faces. There were white people everywhere- at the bar, singing kareoke, nursing watered-down drinks and nodding to the music, or chatting in groups threes and fours. Two had passed out and were ignored even though they were taking up space.
At least the lights were turned down. As I stepped inside I couldn’t help thinking that it got a little bit darker. The mood was jovial but bordered on manic, as if everyone was too eager to prove that they were having a good time. Desperation hid behind that kind of wide-eyed laughter.
No one stood up or said anything as I took an empty stool at the bar but I could feel a thickening in the air, a certain kind of awareness spreading amongst the white-folk that they were not alone, like I was goddamned E.T.! In the course of a minute every conscious person in the room knew there was a black man present.
James was right. This was a piss poor place to hide but it was my only choice- I had nowhere else to go.