I wish I could remember this guy’s name. He was really nice, and he had a great smile. Also, he was friends with my partner’s friend, T-Mark, and so I knew he had to be a great person. We ran into the two of them at an art exhibit I was participating in at SOMArts, in San Francisco. It was a very pleasant surprise. I don’t know T-Mark terribly well, and he’s more my partner’s friend than mine; but he’s one of those people who always has a warm smile and kind words to share. When I think about the public perception of Black men as tough guys who’s emotion range extends from stoicism to rage, I feel sad for those people in the majority–actually, I feel sad for all those people outside of Blackness–whose negative stereotypes of African American manhood will prevent them from ever having the benefit of the warmth, love, and friendship of a guy like T-Mark or the friendly smile of a guy like his friend.
This brotha was probably the best dressed man at the DMV all afternoon. He looked like he was ready to go to church, or maybe he was heading out to a nightclub after he renewed his license plates. It’s strange how, for certain genders and age groups, in certainly parts of the country, church clothes and nightclub clothes look pretty much the same.
Purple and green is one of my favorite color combinations. It’s one of the reasons I like Wimbledon so much. (I think that makes the wrong kind of tennis fan.) My love of purple and green is also one of the reasons I particularly like this drawing. The man in this drawing was wearing the most wonderful purple sweater, with matching purple glasses and an olive green shirt.
On the day I saw him, I was already in a good mood. It was my first trip to Sweet Bar Bakery, and I’d had the most wonderful plate of chicken salad there. Then I ran into an old friend, and we laughed and drank iced tea and talked about our creative projects. When this man walked in to the bakery, with his remarkable purple and green ensemble, it was the perfect exclamation point on what had already been a pretty great day.
I’ve gone back to Sweet Bar several times since, but I haven’t seen the guy in the purple sweater and eyeglass frames. Then again, I’m not sure I’d even recognize him if he wasn’t wearing purple.