Sakena – Pittsburgh
I met Sakena when I was a freshman in college, living in Atlanta. We managed to stay friends even when she went through her black power phase and was half-convinced that white people were conspiring against black people by calling each other on our special “white people” phones. Thanks, Steve Cokely. Because of him and the Nation of Islam, when I took all of my film classes at Clark Atlanta, a traditionally black university, I found myself having conversations with other students about why it’s insane to think that Jewish doctors are injecting black babies with HIV. I’ve now learned that if you’re having a conversation with a guy who changed his name to “Abdullah X” and says statements like, “You know why they call it JEWelry, don’t you?” then you’re wasting your breath.
Sakena grew out of that phase, though, and now calls me to say she misses going to Purim parties in LA. She’s been working with doctors doing clinical research, but is more interested in getting back to what she really loves to do–writing. She’s a really talented writer and when she was living in LA, she went back to school to get her Masters degree in writing. I wish she still lived in LA. I also wish she’d get a car. The girl managed to live in the most auto-obsessed city sans an automobile. She’d take the bus everywhere. I’d always worry about her taking the bus at night. And living in Pittsburgh hasn’t changed the way she travels. The girl’s been on enough buses for a lifetime. So whatever man grabs her, he better have four wheels.
If you ever go out with Sakena, be prepared for pictures. The girl always has her camera on her, which is great because I know if I invite her anywhere I don’t have to deal with making memories last a lifetime. Sak’s on it. I’m guessing she took as many pictures at my wedding as the photographer we hired.
She’s very open about her feelings. She’s like me that way. We can keep secrets about other people but when it comes to ourselves–when we’re with people we like–we don’t hold back. And she gets the joke. She knows that life can be absolutely ridiculous and she knows how to laugh at it. She hasn’t always had the easiest time in life, and the girl’s like a weeble wobble. She’s hard to knock down. If in college I hadn’t been so busy conspiring against black people on my “white people” phone, I would have totally hit it.
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