Today marks George’s first week of sobriety. Honestly, I would have never thought he would make it this far. George was such a heavy drinker; its tendrils entwined in every aspect of his life.
George brought a 12 pack of Coca-Colas this morning instead of a case. We talked mainly about Martin Luther King and segregation in the South.
“I was too young to remember segregation,” George told me. “But momma remembers it well.”
“What does she say about it?” I asked, extremely interested.
“She’s always talking about how hard it was to find a negro bathroom when traveling in the South. They always kept a roll of toilet paper in the car and would often have to go in the woods on the side of the road. She said it would be around Kentucky before you started to see integrated bathrooms.”
“That must have been so demeaning,” I replied with a look of consternation on my face.
“She also says it took her years to trust white people,” George added.
“But she has just embraced me!” I replied emphatically.
“Momma says you’re different from most white people,” George said. “She says from what you’ve been through that you’re color blind and don’t judge people.”
“I wish I could be such a Saint,” I thought. I am still extremely distrustful of the shady looking black people that walk by my house all day long. My car getting stolen that Christmas three years ago forever altered my trusting and aloof nature.
George had probably yawned five times in a row when I told him to head home and get some sleep. I knew Mrs. Florene would have a big breakfast cooked and I envied him of that. I bid George farewell and urged him to go to a meeting with me tonight. He said he would think about it after some good sleep.