In the Backseat of a Bigot

for my Daddy Costa

It was a few years after I started living with Luz Costa, and several years before I joined her Dominican family, when I found myself in the backseat of a bigot.

He and his wife offered me a ride to some pointless gathering in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t want to go, but my therapist told me to be more social.

So there I was, sitting in his backseat, halfway to our destination, when he started talking at me and giving me a dirty look in the rearview mirror.

“Listen man,” he said, “no offense to your girlfriend, but I’m tired of her people coming over here and sending our money back to their country.”

His wife—who up to that point was talking about the latest piece of bestselling fluff she was reading—said she was sorry, but she had to agree with him.