My tea grows cold as I watch the black family sitting across the aisle. The hispanic waitress bustles past, and I wonder again if I can ask her to put their bill on my tab. If there's something I can do to let them know that I don't agree with what's happened. I want them to know they aren't alone. They probably know that already, but not about me. Lucy apologizes for the delay. I wave it off, and my smile draws a genuine smile from her. That warms me, but I wonder if she's scared today for herself, or for someone she knows. I want to reassure her that I'm scared for her too, and for those unknown millions who will suffer. I want her to know that my skin isn't a blank slate for others to write their hate upon.
My food comes. Twice as Lucy passes, I feel the words form in my throat, trapped behind uncertain lips. Then the family gets their check, and it's too late. I eat quietly, then take my check to the register. I want to say something, commiserate, apologize, but nothing comes out.
I leave an exorbitant tip, and I leave.