I will chronicle some of my first experiences after moving from my native home in Georgia on the East coast to Fresno, California on the West Coast. These are my stories.
Half-dead palm trees. Heat that’s bearable in the shade. Bright blue skies that looked like they never saw rain. Dry dirt and dust-like soil. Pavement shimmering with waves of heat under a sun that beats down.
We were in a cab, having taken bad directions from my mom to the apartment where we would be staying. The cab driver, despite the fact that we gave him the address, didn’t know where he was going. He became impatient and started getting snappy with us for his ignorance, like he was paying us for the ride instead of the other way around.
I looked to my right to find a beach blonde white guy in a ball cap was hanging out of the driver’s side window of his big shiny truck, staring into the cab at us from the next lane over with his mouth open. At first I thought it was a coincidence. I tapped my sister on the shoulder and gestured. For a second, he had retreated back inside his truck but the moment we both glanced, there he was, staring, open-mouthed at us again, hanging out of the window. Oooo, real live Black people!
“How rude,” I said out loud. “He just starin’ at us….” We must’ve looked really good to him or something, I would later reflect.
Welcome to Fresno.