I went out today.
I couldn’t stop it, I didn’t even know until I arrived at my destination. My mom and I have never been to the mall alone together, at least without my siblings or an obstacle. We’ve been trying since my siblings came. So of course, I was hyped. This day meant everything to me.
At noon, we sped past the fast food pit stops on the highway, nearly empty. I was kind of shocked, literally 5 cars and a few tractor trailers on BOTH sides. It was unreal, it was surreal.
We stopped by my Aunt’s house as well, she took in a homeless woman with her kids. On this stranger’s phone was a video streaming of people speaking Spanish admiring Donald Trump who is my president, but can never be capable to hold such a title. This lady whom I never met before was in tears holding her two kids and kissing them on the forehead. I was completely oblivious to what was going on, I kind of washed out in their conversation.
Then I made my way to the mall. What seemed to be “Rush Hour” might as well have had tumble weeds zipping through the parking lot. It was an absolute ghost town. I asked my mom what was going on and she whipped her neck around “You don’t know?” I made an O with my mouth after she explained. It all made sense but nothing could get rid of the pit in my stomach. What was I doing out here? I parked farthest away from the small community of cars with stickers degrading all sorts of lives, lifestyles, folk in general.
Walking INTO the mall was a completely different atmosphere. There was chaos, but it was quiet. But, it was dead. There was no life to it. There was no heart, no joy, no fun. It didn’t feel right. We had white people zipping around the mall switching into uniform right in front of us, aprons to keep it PG. I felt alone. My mom has both white and asian features while being Honduran, it was an easily blend in. I stuck out like a sore thumb, I felt like one too. It sucked. The vibe,,,,sucked. I got a few head turns but I had fun. I had fun making jokes, whirling around the mall screaming “We need the immigrants, look at us without them!”. I had fun watching people turn heads and shake them when I nudged at my mom mentioning details of my Honduras trip just loud enough.
My mom eventually found out what I was trying to do, she knew I was just having a good laugh but jeez, I got scolded and we left. After that, I went home, which is code for thrift stores. I went to one, where I actually bought a cap that reads “The Pete and Wayne show”, it’s rad. Most caps are held in the Men’s section so when I saw a tall man in a mustard colored jacket with a Trump hat, I had fun with it too. Watching his disgrace as I purposely grabbed “Men” coats and sweaters to try, plus the cap. FYI, I did get a sweater, blue with hockey sticks. I felt more cozy in the thrift stores, Hispanics were flying everywhere. I would like to think of it as a safe haven for many. When I realized why I felt so comfortable, I got sad again. We had latinos and latinas working the cashier, carrying donations across the room. They had a look in their eyes that wasn’t the happiest. They didn’t want to be there, here, present.
Shoutout to the immigrants that couldn’t afford to loose a day of work, risking getting fired or even worse conditions. To those who smiled seeing protestors roam the streets, from inside of facility windows. For the folk who couldn’t do anything fearing potential deportation. Shoutout to those who were able to do something, not work, protest. These people are the life of it all, the heart. I don’t even want to count this as February 16th, it seemed to artificial to even call it a day.