My name’s James Jockish. I’m a private detective. A slightly racist and sexist private detective. But I’ve been in counseling. I’m trying.
The dame walked into my office. I took one look at those stems and almost forgot that the proper term was “young woman." We’d covered that just last week in sensitivity training. But it hadn’t stuck yet. I nodded as she sat down, taking a good look at the 2 Faces Ski Face Mask she was wearing.
“Mr. Jockisch,” she began. “I need to hire you.” I studied her facemask. My first guess was that she was Oriental. But then I looked at the little card my therapist had given me. According to the card, oriental was what people called their rugs. This meant she was Asian. I didn’t know what kind of Asian but I knew we were going to talk about how to handle that in two weeks so I didn’t let it get to me. Therapy takes time.
“What for, babycakes?” The young woman didn’t react to that, so I guessed I was in the clear. Even still, the words warmed me up like a Ski Biker Mask. Is that how people felt around me? Was I really hurting people through my actions and beliefs? It was like a dam had broken and all these new feelings were rushing in. That time I punched a black guy in a country bar. When I stole that burrito from an Italian. Was I breaking stereotypes… or just upholding them? I was just a guy, a guy like any other. And maybe I had made mistakes. But I could make amends. Beginning right now.
“Ma’am, I apologize,” I said before she could answer. “I shouldn’t have called you babycakes. I can tell by that 2 Faces Ski Face Mask you’re a classy dame… I mean, young woman. And I’m gonna say… Korean?”
She shook her head no, but she didn’t leave in horror like that Chinese waitress at the rib joint last week. Our eyes met. She took off her biker Facemask and slid it across the table towards me. I reached for it. Our fingertips met. And I decided that maybe this multicultural thing was okay after all. It was just too bad I’d have to get rid of my racist rug.
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