I was walking through Westwood, Los Angeles the other day when I noticed an older, white woman staring at my package. Her gaze seemed to burn a hole straight through my polyester basketball shorts like she was one of the X-Men. At first, I found it comical. It’s a very macho thing to do, having your package stared at and all…but as the stare lingered on, it slowly drifted into the realm of creepy. I stared back at her so obviously that she couldn’t help but notice. Her eyes locked on to my package like a police K-9 onto a suspect. As my uncomfortability level approached 9000, I scrambled to think of different ways to handle this. I could have just opened up and let her see it all as a form of self-sacrificial protest. “Is this what you want?!?! Huh?! Is this what you want!?!?” I would yell before sprinting off into the distance in tears. Nah, that’s not my style. I could have positioned my body to hide from her piercing eyes. No, I had read a bit of feminist literature (read: Buzzfeed articles) and I learned that that would be giving in to my oppressor. I was in no mood to do that. My package is MINE and I will make sure that you CANNOT do what YOU WANT with YOUR EYES!
So, my only option was to confront her. To tell her that I did not appreciate her long stares and her judgmental eyes. I would come face-to-face with my adversary and explain to her exactly how that made me feel. I would ensure that she knew just what she had done to me and how harmful it could be to my psyche. Before I finished, my goal was to make sure that she never did something like this to ANYONE else. I’m a bit of an introvert so my nerves began to overwhelm me. I don’t like talking to people….at all. BUT THIS WAS MY DUTY AS A PACKAGE-HOLDING PERSON! I pumped myself up and rose from my seat. It was at that moment that I realized there was a better way! I remembered a technique that I had seen in another piece of extremely helpful literature (read: Buzzfeed articles). I bent my leg back and grabbed my foot, pretending to stretch my legs, then I sat back down. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a red starburst. I unwrapped it and ate it. That has nothing to do with anything, but I really love red starbursts.
Any who, I grabbed my iPhone 4 (because f**k Capitalism, I’m not gonna be sucked into buying the iPhone 6………lol I’m poor). I proceeded to fake text a couple of people, which is ironic because I actually had quite a few unresponded to texts, but I was in the zone. I raised my phone to my face and let out a slight chuckle. It was fake, but no one else knew that. I knew those acting classes in SaMo would help. To the rest of the world, I was a happy-go-lucky, Apple product-loving, Converse-wearing plebeian like the rest of them. BUT to me, I was a spy. I was James Bond…except Black. I had fooled them into thinking that what I had in my hand was merely a phone when it was also a State-of-the-Art CAMERA! I positioned the lens in such a fashion to capture the woman’s gaze. I snapped photo after photo and she was none the wiser. I could hardly hold back my adulation as I anticipated the hundreds of thousands of views that my Unworthy photo slideshow exposing the outrageous fetishization of Black men’s packages. After about 30 photos, I figured it was my time to make a quick escape. I stood up quickly and peered down at my watch, feigning surprise. “This is the wrong bus stop!” I naturally (read: Awkwardly) yelled, and sped away with my evidence.
I arrived home an hour later. I quickly downed a cup of Foldger’s “Shit-flavored” coffee. High off caffeine and adrenaline, I opened my word processor. I use Pages instead of MS Word because…..poor. I proceeded to lace word after word together into an intimate and flowing deconstruction of the fetishized view that White women have towards Black men and how it is a vestige of the hyperracialized American past. It was GOLD. It was GREAT. But it was missing one thing: Indisputable, empirical evidence. Thank you, White woman! I posted each photo in such a way that they told a story of their own. A story never told. Finally, everyone would see what I go through on a daily basis! I finished the article and then my power went out. Normally, my laptop would have been unaffected but my battery went out last year and I haven’t replaced it because….poor. I would have screamed, but I’m always prepared. I SAVED IT!
Ten minutes later, once the power was restored, I logged on to my Facebook and posted this:
“You all won’t believe what I had to go through today. But that doesn’t matter, because now I have documented evidence and you will all finally see! Check Buzzfeed in an hour!”
I submitted the article to Buzzfeed. Now, it was time to wait. My activist fame was quickly approaching. All I needed was a little patience.
About forty minutes later, I received 12 texts from different friends. They said things like “Sorry about that bro” and “I hope this all blows over and you don’t have to deal with that anymore”. I jumped with glee. I logged back onto my computer and opened Safari. I typed “B” into the URL and it autocompleted “Buzzfeed.com” I hit enter with the strength of a great typhoon. After the Buzzfeed home page loaded up, I feverishly scrolled up and down looking for my article, which I had titled “You won’t believe what this White Woman did to my package!” I couldn’t find it. It was at this moment that another article caught my eye. It was titled “Oh sexism is dead? Creepy Black man stares at my White boobs” and there I was. Eyes as wide as the Potomac. I broke out into cold sweat. I grabbed my phone and went through the pictures that I had taken. I failed to notice that she had her iPhone 6 pointed directly at me the entire time. I read the first line of her article “This creepy MAN decided it was ok for him to stare at my boobs while he thought I was asleep.”
My first thought was “Who the hell sleeps with their eyes open?”
Goddamn you, Buzzfeed. I should have just told her to stop staring at my package.