The Judging Position

We walked from Upper Ditmars in Astoria, Queens to Lafayette Ave in Fort Greene, Brooklyn today.

I can’t stop thinking about the brunette wigs of the Jewish women and the curls of the Jewish men as we strolled down Lorimer and counted the residential windows with bars on them. I felt like I was in a different country. Then, there were projects and baptist churches and black people everywhere. Jewish playground: Black playground. They were only a few blocks apart, yet as separate as countries. Just like Queens and Brooklyn seem, sometimes.

Tina Fey, who stares at me from the cover of “BossyPants” is more of an idol worth worshipping than the customs that dictate how separate people need to stay from “outsiders” all from the pages of books written too long ago to know how long ago they were written. Yet, I was just passing through, how can I know what they all think? I can only judge from my position. Still, it was strange to me to see the sullen faces of the women (on both sides of the neighborhoods) watching the hundreds of children playing on the street and chatting in their languages, and the men: coming and going in pairs and talking hurriedly as my boyfriend and I walked  slowly hand in hand down the block in our converse shoes and tight jeans, clearly outsiders, marveling at the way of life these communities live in.

I noticed my own customs when I got home (how would they judge me if they knew what I do?):

I cut my finger peeling a second mango for the epically large fruit salad we made for dinner.

I didn’t wash my hair when I jumped in the shower because I liked the way my ‘do was doing a Fara Faucet look.

I don’t like the sunburn on my nose and forehead after staring at my face in a mirror for a while.

We made bread and threw the window in the living room open: the first time all year! It’s not cold, either!

I reached out to an old friend, to put some icing on this peach of a day.

I even had premarital sex.

Thanks, Tina Fey, you always say that there will be great times… or do you? I’ll just say you do. It seems like something you would say.




March 12, 2014 at 4:38 am by Natalie Allen