A Little Stuffy in Here (creative nonfiction)

The breakfast with Jeana at the botanical gardens in Nashville. You never saw so many nouveau riche people in one place at one time. Not one colored face among them.

They all sat on the lower level, next to the wide windows overlooking the butterfly garden, but they were mainly looking at each other, what was she wearing, who was she with, who should we say hello to, what hands should we shake, how many rungs can we climb this beautiful Sunday morning we are spending with our faces buried in our mimosas and our backs to the beautiful garden.

Or at least this was our impression as we sat on the upper level, close to the door we should probably have been grateful they let us through in our jeans and t-shirts. Clean jeans and t-shirts, mind you, but jeans and t-shirts nonetheless. Mine was burgundy and had a baseball style swoosh on it with the words, “Think dark thoughts.” One of my favorite t-shirts of all time, and we were. We were thinking dark thoughts about these people when these people we assumed didn’t want us there, were probably not thinking about us at all.

At the brunch buffet table, this lady in a white dress with heels way too high for a garden… we were in a freaking garden after all… elbowed me over the eggs. Elbowed in the boobs, over the chafing dish full of rubbery eggs. Strangest things. I suppose my low class ass wasn’t moving fast enough and she was at the eggs in a hurry because maybe she had some ass to kiss back at her table right then or the ass wouldn’t be ripe for kissing anymore.

Dark thoughts.

At our table on the higher level, the undesirable section, we were the only table up there after all, the waitress came over to fill our water glasses. Jeana, with her Jeana wit said to the waitress, “How are you today.” Fine, the waitress said. “A little stuffy in here, ain’t it?” The waitress smiled in a way she wasn’t supposed to and said, “Sometimes.”

-M, Ashley

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