another_constellation: A white man smiling at a laptop (Default)
I just finished "Flight" by Sherman Alexie. It's about an angry half-white half Native kid in the foster system. He decides to shoot up a a bank and is shot in in head himself. He then skips through the minds of several men, white and Indian, throughout time.

The story that I found most pointant was one where he is an Indian man in his fifties. He wakes up in an alley drunk and throwing up blood. He antagonizes a guy into punching him in the face and weaves up and down the streets looking for a new start. He tells a white man who didn't see him-- didn't avoid him or ignore him like everyone else, but didn't see him-- that he wants some respect. He repeats it over and over. The guy makes some derisive comments and turns away and he grabs the man by the shoulder. He pins him to the wall and asks what he wants.
"I want some respect." "All right, all right," the guy says, "how do I show you some respect?"

What a magnificent question.

The narrator's response is for the man to tell him a secret. I think mine would be to listen to a secret. Or just listen, period. I've been thinking lately, in the radio silence here, how hard it often is for me to pull words out of me, especially verbally. But that doesn't mean I'm not speaking.

What about you? How can people show you respect?


another_constellation: A white man smiling at a laptop (Default)

July 2011

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