I left Rocky Mount, Virginia haunted. An entire weekend overshadowed by a series of small events that shook my core and reminded my of the dichotomy that exists in our world. All is not well in Denmark.
After the first day in Rocky Mount, I thought I'd leave the town knowing it was a little boring and remembering The Crooked Road, Virginia's Heritage Music Trail. Instead, all I remember is how nauseous I still am. We were on our way out of Rocky Mount, just making on quick stop at the tattoo parlor (yeah, I got another one), when a man walked into the shop. Something just didn't feel right about him; the air changed a bit. Like a cat, I felt the hair on my arms stand on end. Evidently he wanted one tattoo finished and wanted to talk design on a second. He kept eyeing all the women in the shop and even went so far as to make some comment toward the owner's daughter (the resident body piercer). I was still a little on edge when it came to the other patron's after a group of kids had come in earlier wanting the nazi symbol tattooed on, but I didn't pay him too much mind as I was about to head back and get a little color. However, when Allie was done and we were headed out, I realized why my guard was raised. On the computer screen was a hooded figure peering out from behind a cross. I glanced at the back of his elbow and saw the tattoo he already had for the first time, the confederate flag with the words Ku Klux Klan written above it. Even typing this I'm shaking. Are we really still there? And how dare this mother fucker hide his hatred and ignorance behind the cross and the cloak of Christianity. I don't own a gun and never will for times like that. I was hot with rage and might blown his testicles off in my rage had I had a gun. Instead, I felt bile rise in my throat and left haunted with fears of the Rocky Mounts of the world. As we stopped off in Wal-Mart, I viewed every white person with wariness and anyone nonwhite with the wonder of how much shit they must put up with. I wondered yet again where I should be. Am I hiding in the suburbs of D.C.? An ironic twist to all of this is the fact that earlier that day we ventured down to Greensboro, NC. There I stood in front of the Woolworth where the lunch boycotts began and a civil right's war was waged. The awe of the morning smashed by the present that still looks so much like the past.