I return from the bathroom at a lovely rest stop on
eastern I40 to find a lovely young man eagerly awaiting my return so he can ask
me if it’s okay to take a picture of the “End Violence Against Womyn” side of
Originally from Memphis, he is going to school in
Missouri. When I ask how that is for him, a hip-looking young dark chocolate
fellow with designer glasses and two large diamonds in his pierced ears and a
wide, easy-going smile, he confesses he misses Tennessee – especially the
southern hospitality part – and finds mid-westerners cold and unfriendly.
We talk about #SayHerName and he admits in horror that he
didn’t know any of the names listed there so I tell him about a few.
While we’re talking, a tall, bald white man also with two
earrings but large chrome hoops, stands patiently to the side, grinning
broadly, about to burst but doesn’t interrupt. When we pause, he asks if this
is my truck, thanks me profusely and hands me and then my Missouri college
student a stack of small black and white bumper stickers that say “Basically: don’t
be a dick” before departing.
The young man confides before he hops in the car where
his father is patiently waiting that he is on his way to pick up his brand new
red car and he’s going to plaster these stickers all over it!
Four young white womyn, all with an abundance of curly
long hair, approach excitedly, asking me about the anti-Monsanto side of the
truck. I explain my dear friend Phoebe, a renowned Berkeley artist, painted it
for me and I point out the skull and crossbones.
They smile broadly and proclaim that when they saw my
truck parked at the other end of the rest stop, they hurried over to park next
to me, declaring “we found our people”!