Friday, July 10, 2020

Story #5: My Kind of White Privilege

I wrote this flash piece a few years ago, uncertain of when and where it would ever be published. Now feels like a fitting time to share it. “Karens” walk among us and come in many forms. One must beware. Yes, this is an unfortunately true story, with no offense to roosters:

I stop for a quick lunch at a Thai restaurant on a Monday afternoon. I sit down across from two archetypal Chicago hipsters who look to be around my age: a coiffed and tattooed Bettie Page-lookalike having a loud conversation with a bearded and bespectacled young man, presumably her date.

“My last boyfriend wanted me to move in with him,” she declares at a volume for all to hear. “But he wanted a pet fennec fox. Fennec foxes are so ugly. I mean, I would never want to live with someone who had a fennec fox, do you know what I mean? Who would want that in their apartment? Who would want to be with someone like that?”

To illustrate her point, she plays him (and the rest of us) a YouTube video about fennec foxes on her phone, which she sets proudly in front of him as my dog would a toy or a stick he found.

Shortly after, he gets up to pay the check. When he reaches the counter, he leans over, puts his arm up and taps on the restaurant’s business permit with the back of his middle finger, looks at her, and proclaims that he holds more than one business permit but hasn’t “done anything with them yet.”

Her chair hits the edge of my table as she stands up to put on her coat, and I am compelled to look up at her. I discover that her right arm is tattooed in its entirety with the detailed and realistic image of

            a rooster.

City of the Big Shoulders, indeed.

"My Kind of White Privilege," copyright 2020 Amelia Cotter

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