Fifty years ago my man, to love me, would have broken the law. Back then, where we live, for a white fella to fuck a black chick was a crime against the 1905 Aborigines Act. Before 1967 us Abos weren’t even human under the law. We were fauna and, of course, one doesn’t screw the livestock.
Even now people, black and white, are going to wonder what is going on in a white guy’s head if he sets his sights on a black girl. Let alone marry one.
I sure did.
Close your eyes and think beauty. In your mind’s eye, what do you see? Blonde straight hair to the shoulders, creamy skin that glistens, pert breasts (probably big), and a delicate smile.
Open your eyes and see me. I’ve got the straight hair but it’s coarse and black, black, black. If it gets long it gets wild. My skin has the dullness of desert people from around the world and, of course, it’s black too. There is no way to call my smile delicate. My lips are fuller than Mick Jagger’s, my mouth is wider than a river and my teeth big white rocks.
My tits I’m proud of. They’re not too big but they don’t need a bra and I like the way my nipples press through my tee-shirt. Look at my mother and aunties and my mother’s aunties, though, and you have to wonder how low they will hang when I’m old. I reckon, though, that they will tingle just as nicely with a little brushing.
He was new in town and a way pretty fella. His hair was reddy and curled tightly into a bird’s nest on top of his head. The skin of his face seemed unnaturally smooth, marred by three or four dark birthmarks. He was a little shorter than me but I’m a couple of inches over six feet. He was built like a brick house, hard and solid.
I had handed the docket and change to the person before him and was lifting his plastic bag of potatoes onto the scales before I looked at his face. It wasn’t love at first sight or anything like that. He was just a pretty guy and, when he smiled at me, I felt a little lighter on my feet. I rang through his shopping as he stood at the end of the counter and hoisted the bags back into his trolley. He smiled again as he handed over his money and I gave him his change.
I watched his butt as he walked through the automatic doors for the sheer pleasure of it.
The next time I saw him was at the flicks that Sunday afternoon. He didn’t seem to be with anyone. I wasn’t either. As I walked away from the cashier he was at the confectionary counter. I hung back. His motion was just as beautiful as it had been when he had walked away from me in the supermarket. I followed him up the stairs and into the theatre. Inside he sat midway down the aisles and off to the left. I sat back from him and in the middle of the rows.
That night I dreamed of him. I was serving him in the supermarket again. I picked up his bag of potatoes and the bottom tore out. He caught two but the around two pounds of tubers clattered off the counter, bounced off my front and fell about my feet. Retrieving them I crouched on my haunches. My eyes were at the level of his crutch. On the counter in front of him was a clear plastic bag of carrots and, next to them, a bulb of garlic.
When I woke, even though I was alone in my bed and bedroom, I felt embarrassed.
Grow up a black chick and you feel it as you start to turn into a woman — first boys and then men look at you differently. They try to get a glimpse down your shirt. They wonder if your tits are different to the ones they see in magazines. They wonder about the colour of your nipples and if your areolae are smooth or nubbly. You can feel them thinking about what you are like inside your underwear — your arse; the shape of your labia, slit and cunt; the colour inside there; how big you are.
Lying in my bed I was imagining what this white guy was like inside his underwear. I told myself it was natural but wasn’t convinced. My mind kept slipping back to carrots and foreskins and garlic bulbs.
That afternoon, walking home from work, I was crossing the bridge when I heard a splash.
His red hair rose up from the river bed. Around it was a crown of bursting bubbles. I watched as he swam to the shore, climbed the embankment until he was almost level with the road then dived again. He was wearing the skimpiest swimmers, perhaps they were just his underpants, and the curves of his buttocks were so plain he might have been naked.
The second time he surfaced he saw me. From the middle of the river he waved. I blushed then waved back. He climbed to his diving spot again and launched himself into the air, that time for me, showing off.
I wondered at his motives. Could he have been suckering me from the first time I’d seen me? I wondered about his penis again. I told myself to be careful. I stood at the side of the bridge and watched him for over an hour.
It was growing chilly when he climbed passed his diving spot. I told myself again to be careful. He was barely standing before me before I lent forward and kissed his mouth.
We kissed again. When we parted I felt myself blush again and dropped my eyes. A thin line of rust coloured hair lead from his navel. He was, indeed, wearing only underpants. The profile of his penis was clear. I told myself that that must be the shape of a circumcision. I wondered what else I was about to learn.