The Days I Spent with You (1)

Dear Shirley,

never ever I imagined that I would work for a black man. In my big family, we even called negros eggplants.

One morning two black janitors did some repair at my house. My wife served them water after they finished their job. Right after they left, I threw away the glasses they used in the dustbin.

Remember that story? I told you about it when you asked me if I had problems working with black people. Well, as long as I could earn much money, I didn't mind to work with them. Besides, all I needed to do was to drive and to make sure that you arrived on schedule. Even into the Deep South. Piece of cake.

Then, we made our trips. You set many rules.

Don't smoke in the car, Tony. I can't breathe here in the back.

Eyes on the road! 

Let me have a quiet time! 

You even told me to drive back to the road where I threw away the empty basket of fried chicken I bought in Kentucky!

To tell you the truth, I underestimated your music skill until I saw your fingers dancing beautifully on the keyboard. Wow! Even your white audience gave you long standing applause at the end of your performances.

Being with you in the South made me realize how hard your life was. You were invited to play your beautiful music, but your hosts didn't allow you to use the toilet. You had to go back to your motel! You had to change your cloth in a janitor room and weren't allowed to dine together with other guests. Once you wanted to try on a suit in a store. But, the salesman didn't allow you to.

All because your skin color: black!

I wonder why you could stand those miseries. You managed to shake your white audience' hands, smiling at them. I couldn't get it until Oleg, your fellow musician, revealed your reason.

It take courage to change people's heart.

But, everyone has his limits, right? You thundered at a rainy night.

If I'm not black enough and if I'm not white enough, then tell me, Tony, what am I?

Shirley, I was a rasist and bad-tempered. But you changed me. You once told me,

you never win with violence. You only win when you maintain your dignity.

I'm really grateful for the days I spent with you.

Your friend,
Tony

*Retold from 2018-Green Book movie, Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay at 91st Academy Awards.

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