Tonight I was at a country club steakhouse in Carlsbad with six other partners and associates from across the country. After a couple vodka gimlets and a glass or two of red wine, I excused myself to go to the bathroom and asked the hostess if I might borrow a pen and paper, and I wrote this:
To be young, gifted, and white: arrive at a steakhouse in Carlsbad - gilded walls, warm familiar lights. Loud red-faced men in dark blazers represent a possible future. A room of garrulous laughter, multiple cocktails per setting - rich men, white men, salads of prosciutto and greens and thick beet juice dribbling down our chins. The power! The ease! Who have we become?
Yet the music - Jill Scott, John Mayer, Erykah Badu, D'Angelo. "Cross My Mind," "He Loves Me," "I Don't Trust Myself," "Didn'tcha Know." Even here, in Carlsbad, among the privileged class, with a blazer and a soft belly awaiting me in some hazy potential future - this is who I am. I tell the waiter the music here is fantastic - amid everything else, he agrees.