Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Coke and the Mouse

Dear Bloggers,

Being aware of how you’re seen to the public can become a burden for some (I’ll explain this more tomorrow), but for others, it can be your ticket to freedom. Knowing how society sees you can give you opportunities to do things knowing that you have the agency to get away with it. There’s an autonomy I have as a woman I know men do not have, and there is a freedom that some of my White male friends have expressed to me that literally left me speechless.

I’m 5’3. At a young age, I knew that I would NEVER become a supermodel, due to my lack of height and large hips. I’m okay with this, but while in college I was given an opportunity to address my model pipe dream and finally satisfy my urge to walk on a runway accompanied with Gwen Stefani music playing. I tried out for a fashion show and made it.

During practice, if they were working on a skit I wasn’t a part of, I would engage the other people into conversation. A lot of the time it would be me in a group of predominately White guys talking and laughing. One night we were discussing what we find ourselves doing while bored. Some of the things were: going on Facebook for hours, having Dr. Pepper chugging contests (okay, that one was mine, but I’ve only participated in two chugging contests, okay?), and just walking around the campus aimlessly. With the topic of walking around campus, one of the guys tells us:

“Yeah!! One day, me and my frat bros were bored, so we decided to go for a walk around campus. We ended up seeing this dead mouse, and we wanted to see what the effects of cocaine would do on its insides. So, we opened the mouse, poured some coke in him and watched.”

I sat there stunned. There were so many things in that conversation that baffled me, so I started asking questions. “Coke, like Coca-Cola?! The soda? Or coke like Tony Montana’s coke?!”

Then, another guy in our group explained how him and some of his frat brothers did the same thing, but with ecstasy pills. My mouth is hanging wide open. I’m thinking in my head: “So… you just walk around with hard drugs on you? You aren’t even afraid that the police will randomly pat you down?!” My heart started pounding and I’m looking around paranoid, because I was SURE Johnny Depp, in his “21 Jump Street” garb was going to jump from the vents and arrest ME for just being around them.

Now, I’m sort of a square, I’ve never done any type of drugs in my life. Not saying this to make myself appear so pious, but for the fear that the ONE time I decide to experiment, that’s when the cops are going to be following me like Henry Hill in a helicopter and have a raid (“Goodfellas” reference).

Am I being completely paranoid? No. There were many times that walking from another dorm, or from the gym wearing my hoodie (on a campus were EVERYONE wears hoodies) a cop would stop me, ask for my ID, and ask me which way I’m going, while my White peers walked past without being questioned (or if they were, I never personally saw it).

I’m not too sure if my Fashion Show fellas were completely aware of the freedom that they had. I was in awe of the fact that they could walk around society with the liberty of knowing that being educated, upper class White males made them exempt from pointless police questionings, not being followed while going shopping, and going to a restaurant with the freedom of eating and THEN paying.

After practice my coke-wielding friend offered me a ride home, and I declined citing my love for riding the bus. When in reality, I just KNEW that him driving me in his beautiful red Mustang was going to be the day that he would get pulled over, searched, and we would get thrown in jail. He made it to his frat house without any problems. While walking from the bus stop to my dorm, I got asked for my ID…


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