On my way home from work, I stop in at the auto parts store down the road from house and buy a set of wiper blades. I’ve known the manager there for years, in the way you know often someone in a small town, in bits and pieces. He must know me the same way, in snippets.
He disappears into the back, getting my parts. I stand there, looking thorough the plexiglass at the open shelves of boxes of parts. It’s a quiet moment in a long day. In that moment, I feel surrounded by utter opulence — the twinkling Christmas lights in the window, the balmy December air, and the simpleness of heading home to daughters and cats and home after a day at work.
When he returns, he asks if I want him to put on the blades. I glance out the window. The December rain has briefly paused. It’s nearing five, and pitch dark.
You mind? I ask.
He doesn’t. He has a young man working there, too, and asks him to come outside. This, he says, as he pulls off my ripped wiper, is how you do this.
And a few lines from bell hooks….
I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.”
No black woman writer in this culture can write “too much”. Indeed, no woman writer can write “too much”… No woman has ever written enough.”