When I started my memoir/love story, I was numb from loss. Yet I was given a mission.
The love of my life, Alice McCormick, had me promise “to write” ONE DAY before she left this planet. I was not about to let her down.
Then the Aphasia Network stepped in to comfort my loss. Sixty-three days after discovering Alice’s lifeless body, I was invited into a grief session on Zoom but paired with two naive, early-year students. With nothing else to talk about, I sought their input to determine a politically correct way to identify a racial epithet that neighbors and my grandfather used in the 1950s.
The two of them had no clue. They hit the PANIC button. Then they disappeared into the comforting arms of a supervisor who condemned my speech.
Welcome to cancel culture, and the scourge of it. I am anything BUT a racist; yet that word was hurled later at me. Is it because I emerged from that world and wanted to report on it? Do we choose to ignore how much African Americans have evolved since their squalid beginnings?
It makes me wonder what qualifies as history.
I learned about discrimination firsthand in Princeton, New Jersey, because I could not travel with much-whiter boys to perform in 1950s Ohio. That kind of stupidity never fails to enrage me, but I persevere.
I’m running on the fumes. Maybe reviving my Go Fund Me account would help.
No matter what, I’m writing the last two chapters. They’re about Alice.