The friend pulled Michael aside, relating that he had something to tell. He prefaced his tale by stating that he hoped Michael didn't get mad. Michael braced himself, guessing the context of what was about to follow.
The manager of this Starbucks location had spoken with Michael's friend; seems a customer had complained about an incorrect drink order. The manager did what manager's do, offered to make amends; a new drink, a refund, coupon, whatever it takes to soothe and keep the customer.
This customer didn't want soothing. This customer's position was that the order was incorrect because the Barista was distracted by the 'darkie' who was talking to him. The customer further noted, for the record, that there seemed to be 'darkies' in there all the time. As the customer was gearing up for a full on rant about 'darkies', the manager halted her, invited her to leave and never return, as that kind of talk was not going to be tolerated in this establishment.
Michael assured his friend that he wasn't mad.
He was concerned that his friend and some new friends he'd made, might be uncomfortable with his presence. He returned a few days later, asking cheerily, if 'darkies' were being served that day. Everyone exhaled, relaxed. They all chatted a bit, Michael got his chai, and all was well.
It pains me mightily that my son has to even have these conversations-still, that these actions, and worse are still part of our lives.
Michael started writing poetry during is Junior year in high school. His becoming interested in acting and drama was born from his writing and spoken word performances. He wrote the following when he was 19. He gifted it to me for my 41st birthday.
Leader of My Ambush
Before and after my birth
You have fought battles that I couldn't imagine being in the trenches of.
Despicable Wars of Racism Dejected Confrontations of Poverty Disputable Invasions of Infamy
Ordeals you charged into not for ego
but for survival of your children
and that is the courage I see in your scars
the sufferance I listen to in your stories
the pride vibrating in our home
I'm a boy learning from a giving general
who has descended her combat tactics
so I could transcend into a soldier of literature.
As I age, I understand more
why immense vocabulary
My battles to come are invented by
futuristic technology that can only be
countered with precise language explaining
allies or enemies made
and acquaintances caught in crossfire
Mother of Protection
Mother of Benevolence
Mother of Comprehension
Mother of Accommodation
Mother of Humbleness
praises of warfare shouted on mountain tops
glory resonates in valleys
Responsibility bombs obligations
Craters of examples are guidance
I cheer explosive victory
Never question your
instinctive intentions to fight
'cause whether you've gained or lost
Your smile is a symbolic weapon of unconditional love.
by Michael (insert last name)