Rough Reena was wiping down tables in a small restaurant near my home. I asked her what she thought of the President, verbalizing his support for marriage equality. She rolled her eyes, and bit her pierced lower lip. "Why would I care, and why should I care, about what Obama thinks about marriage,” she pointedly asked.
I said “it affects you and your community. I know you have an opinion on the subject Reena, and I’m curious about what you think.”
“You know the only reason I’m so nice to you fags, is because you’re all good tippers. If I had to rely on my lesbian sisters to make money I’d be broke.”
“You aren’t answering my question Reena.”
She put down the menus and the wash cloth she was holding, and sat down next to me. “Do you really want to know what I think,” she asked.
I said “of course I do.” At this point I should have forewarned her that I might blog about what she had to say, but she hadn’t said anything that was blog-worthy at this point, so I kept my mouth shut.
“This is what I think about Obama saying that he’s in favor of gay marriage. He can shove it. He’s no different than the rest of the assholes in Washington. We voted for him because he told us to dream about the possibilities if he was elected. You know what? I bought it, and I dreamed the dream, voted for him and he was elected.”
Just as I thought I hit the mother lode she got up and said “I’ll be right back” as she walked to the kitchen. I watched as she delivered food to another table.
As she neared the table, and sat down again, she was talking as if she was continuing her previous thought. “Do I have a better life, more chances to succeed, or more possibilities for my future because of him? No -- I don’t, and for some reason it feels like I have less. He was a big fat disappointment, and he let me down, my friends down, and the country down. And you tell him that for me, that a big fat latina dyke thinks he’s a big fat disappointment.”
Sweetly smiling she asked “Do you want some more iced tea honey?”
“No I’m good thanks. You still didn’t say anything about marriage.”
“Why do we care about fucking marriage? Why do people talk about gay marriage like it’s an answer to our problems? All of these politicians, and the government are our oppressors. Our families are our oppressors. The churches don’t want us to dirty their churches, and they’re oppressors too. Why the hell would I want to emulate them, or be like them, or get married and have a relationship like them? They’re so fucked up.”
“I don’t know why. Maybe you have a friend who wants to marry their partner?”
“Me and my girlfriends keep U-Haul in business. If we had to get married and then divorced, U-Haul would go out of business, because we’d be paying lawyers all the time. They’re our friends at U-Haul. Fuck Obama.”
She gave me the check and a peck on the cheek, and asked the next table if they wanted more iced tea.
Reena’s sweet, I thought to myself, as I located my wallet to pay the check.
I left Rough Reena some extra money when I left the tip, because I didn’t want to be a big fat disappointment.
straight talk in a queer world.
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