My boarding time had inched close enough to the present that I began to sweat a little. It was only after I had to remove a pair of shoes from my oversized travel bag at the check-in counter that I became nervous.
“See, I told you taking out the boots would help cut enough weight,” my dad said as he grabbed the pair of shoes I removed from the large purple bag. I rolled my now 50-pound bag through that little section of the airport check-in counter. I just kept throwing in extra stuff that I thought I would need during the summer abroad without thinking about the overage charges. Nearly everything in my room was able to fit in that mobile monstrosity. I had just enough time to get rid of a perfectly good water bottle and take a deep breath before stepping into the back of the airport security line.
I grew up in a predominantly white, rural town. Some people identified as Latino or Hispanic, but in every single class that I was in, whether it be dance, school, gymnastics, or karate, I was always the darkest one. There would be another Black person occasionally, and it wouldn’t be until I was able to explore more around town that I finally saw the rest of the community. The ones with darker skin like mine were, quite literally, segregated on the other side of town. None of the people I hung out with even knew about it. My classmates would even freak out when we got another Black boy in class.
I went to go sit down at the bar counter in between band sets to grab another half-priced beer from the advertised Taco Tuesday deal. I dug inside my black vegan leather jacket to stuff my phone in one of the tiny pockets and asked the bartender to add another beverage to my tab. I squeezed juice from the fresh wedge of lime that hung onto the rim of the of my glass into the chilled Corona and gazed around at the group of people loudly chatting away. I was there to get some photos for a couple of the bands that I covered in a few of the articles that I wrote for an online publication. It was late to be out here on a work night, and I was already exhausted from the long day of editing and scheduling content. However, my tune changed after hearing from the person who slid into the bar stool next to mine.Continue reading “How Storytelling Will Save The World”→