It was nearing the end of the night yet there I was, sitting outside our apartment, the winter air nipping at the exposed skin of my arms as I gingerly rubbed the newly formed bruise on my head.
I had left the apartment so hastily that i ran straight in to our new shelf on the way out. Another reminder that our apartment was quite literally, painfully small and another reminder that the universe had never granted me a swift and cool exit after a fight, and this time would not be that exception.
It had happened again. Another “black” discussion. This time the unassuming subject of who would play me in the Hollywood remake of our uneventful bemusing life in China. It was the spark that lit the flame that set off the fire.
"Well let’s face it there’s like 3 black actresses in Hollywood so it’s not like I have much of a choice now do I" I said. It left my lips as an off the cuff comment but by the time It reached their ears the words were deafeningly snide and self-riotous. I regretted it instantly.
The next few minutes were a back and forth between the three of us as to why I couldn’t choose a non-black actress to represent me because quite rightly so “why couldn’t it just be about my personality and go beyond my skin!”. That wasn’t my point though “I want someone who looks like me to play me - why can’t I be afforded the luxury of choice”. “Like you!” that went unsaid. “Like white people” that went unsaid too.
By the time I had processed the ridiculousness of the whole conversation it was too late. I had already blamed them for Hollywoods short-comings. I had already made a mountain out of a mole hill.
So I just left. I scouted around the room haphazardly looking for my cigarettes and a lighter and when I found them I left the room stale with silence because let’s face it I was at a loss for words today, well at least the right ones.
I should have just said “Hali Berry or Jennifer Hudson” and left it at that.