I went to meet Prianka at lunch, and afterward, I used Starbucks as my office for a couple of hours because I had some time to kill. My next appointment canceled, so I thought, “I need a haircut and an eyebrow wax.” So I get out my little iPhone and ask Google Maps to point me to the nearest SuperCuts. This is the one time that Google Maps has directed me to the wrong place, so I ride the bus out to East Jesus Nowhere and then walk half a mile and the SuperCuts is not there. I have walked all over DC by this point, to the tune of about five miles, so I just sat down on the ground and created an Uber account. Dorsey came to pick me up within three minutes, and we ended up having such a great time that I told him I was looking for friends and since I had his cell number, could I text him again? He said “absolutely.” Rock star.
Dorsey is from the ATL, and one of the most beautiful men I have ever seen in my life. However, that’s not what made me want to be his friend (although it helps, not gonna lie). He’s a DC public school teacher, and things go to shit in a way for which he is unprepared on a daily basis. In his two years of teaching here, he’s been through a riot and two kids brandishing handguns at school. If that wasn’t enough, the charter schools offload their poorest students back into their zone schools because it affects the amount of funding they get, and teachers’ salaries are tied to the kids’ progress. So all the kids that transfer in count against him. It is a miserable system, but he says that there are things he loves about charter schools, he’s just not sure what they are. Kidding, kidding. He says that when they work well, they work really well. But the government funding issue is large because it’s penalizing great teachers who have no control over the grade point average of kids who’ve been there six or seven weeks. Additionally, he works in a high school. A large percentage of his students are alcoholics and addicts. He said that the only time he has it easy is first period, because the seniors all show up high and it makes them slow down enough to pay attention. By fourth period, though, the high is gone and the kids are crazy. He knows he’s not supposed to tell them to re-up, but it might make his life easier if they did. He doesn’t smoke at all, so he doesn’t understand how it works. Just that it’s nicer to have calm, focused students than ones who pick fights right in front of him. He told me that the first day, he assigned seats, and a fourteen-year-old said, “fuck you bitch, I’m not sittin’ there.” No ma’amela Pamela. He is from the South. He was floored.
He took the same leap of faith I did…. just packed up his car and left Atlanta the day he graduated from college. His brother went to Howard, so that’s how he got to know the city well enough to want to live here. I told him that the city was inspiring me as well, especially standing on the steps of the Supreme Court as the marriage arguments were happening. I also told him about the guy that told me my dad should have beaten the shit out of me by now. He healed me in no small measure by saying that his dad probably did the same thing to him. If he’s not gay, it was something. I said, “everyone’s fighting their own battles, aren’t they?” He nodded and smiled.
I love it when Dorsey smiles. It lights up my face. Talking to Dorsey was just as much fun as a haircut. It worked out all right.
Dorsey got five stars, and I will be calling him every time I just cannot even with the shoes and the walking and the blisters and the I fell again and hurt my knees. At least this time, my pants didn’t rip.
Small blessings….. and large ones, too.