"Don't give the dipper to the nigger, son," the old guy drawled with no hint of shame or irony in his voice. We were taking a break from loading the watermelons down by the spring in the only shade available. After I had gulped a mouthful from the long handled tin cup I was handing it to the little kid squatting next to me. I was probably ten or eleven years old.
I have a really hard time understanding mean. I suppose that I can see where prejudice comes from and I recognize jealousy and envy. Hurting a person just for the sake of hurt baffles me.
When I reminded her that breaking up had come up before and that she had always come back and reassured me that she hadn't meant it and that I was the love of her life she responded, "Yeah, I can't believe that you've been this dumb for this long."
After this amount of time I ask myself why I dwell on this moment. Then I have to wonder why I can't seem to forget the dipper in the watermelon patch after most of a long lifetime. Without darkness there is no light.