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The Invisible Veil represents the restrictions put on all women (who don’t wear actual veils) through identity theft in society. Is it real slavery? The emotional expression of facing such discrimination in society as a white person comes near to the historically negative experience of the beautiful black race.
I’m running down nonstop Mt. Vernon Avenue with my eyes speaking to bystanders on the sides of the streets, always in the hot summer every year – as far back as I can remember easily.
I must have a veil on as I cannot speak, even though I am a white woman but once again I feel black on Mt. Vernon Avenue – running in too-small shorts with an invisible veil under my eyes. The veil is heavy and maybe it is a wool burka.
The people I pass cannot speak either, and one proprietor sets out once more my painting of Che Guevara – she sets the canvas up on a chair, while two of her colleagues, or her friends, stand by like soldiers – drinking water to remind me I can have a drink. I am never sure. I am running hard in the hot heat and I only hope to get there alive when my legs stop running, without me, without my will. Later I am no longer running, but merely walking long distance as an athlete now – without relief in the same hot sun, with the same degradation in my veins for another year or more.
I am a kaffir as I look at my beautiful missing boat, my catamaran in Ft. Baker, and a cracker once again as I look at the Spirit of Norway, another lost item parked with aggression on the Old Town Harbor section of the Potomac River. I am simultaneously looking at frozen men and women, looking once more at frozen, well-dressed but unfashionable, standing mannequin people who never speak to me, who look like bizarre wealthy entrappers with duplicity in their shoes. I, too, don’t speak with my old cheap shoes that could not be good enough to know the intruders, and I sigh with relief once more that I don’t know them.
Suffering and walking in and out of homeless shelters all my life, I am haunted by the feeling of vast wealth following me around, yet it is never really nearly even mine, as the people never really speak – as the people must really think I am a white spook, boy they think I am a honkie as I check into yet another homeless situation, with degradation an essential ingredient of the shelter’s dirty isolated floorboards.
Metal animal traps encase my legs with shark’s teeth as well as agonizing bear traps, I am caught for hours. I remember terrifying police rifles shooting tranquilizer tubes in my skin as a child, and not that long ago in northern California and elsewhere. Jeering menacing catcalls encircled me in Union Station, Washington, D.C., not long ago either. The well-known “slaveowner” walked behind the encircling posse in a horrible walk I knew from my childhood. He walked the deathly confrontational slavery, the formal capture of a human being walk while swinging a stick side-to-side in front of him on the food court floor.
He moved toward me while walking in the back middle of the group. He walked with a rarely seen terror, like a deliberate posse director gunning for me as a slavery sport, with my beauty as the prize before further degradation under his shoes in his home, more than likely his bedroom.
His thug employees were ahead of him calling me terrifying me calling loudly, “Here Kitty Kitty Kitty Kitty” as if I were an animal. A huge dense wall of people surrounds me protects me from him and his terrible inhuman crime against me, a crowd of cashiers and their family members, passersby nearby, security personnel, really everyone in the food court made a wall around me. I worry about being crushed but I have plenty of air space, although I cannot see anything but the countless backs of many previously unknown friends – surrounding me in protection.
Today still alive, I’m running again nonstop down Mt. Vernon Avenue in the Program, with my eyes speaking to bystanders on the sides of the streets, always in the hot summer every year – as far back as I can remember easily.
I must have a veil on as I still cannot speak, even though I am a white woman, but once again I am a castoff an unwanted one on Mt. Vernon Avenue, still running hard in the heat and the cold hoping I am really free in my life, even though I am really free and I know I am free in this world.
write by Louisa