Postcard: Belfast

I wake up in Belfast. Yesterday it rained all day. I wake up in Belfast before dawn, and I open my eyes with an unpleasant sensation: I feel empty and guilty, and I feel helpless. I do not know why. Last night I was eating at a pizzeria with a trans lawyer from Rio de Janeiro and a Haitian artist who grew up in New York and lives in Berlin. Both are black and tall, and stand out in this port, in this city where all are very white. We did not have much money so we ordered three drinks and a pitcher of water, and a first personal pizza that we shared, and then another one that was intolerably spicy, unbearable and inedible. The white waitress explained that it had been our mistake: the “Pizza Pollo Forza” was exactly that: a very spicy pizza. The Haitian artist, a quiet man who speaks with a deep voice and who was wearing a grey kilt, a small skirt, looked at the waitress and asked if there was anything that could reduce the spice of the pizza, to which the woman replied: “Sure, with a glass of milk.” The gay artist and the trans woman smiled, but I did not. He asked if we should spread the milk on the pizza, but at the end he was kind and apologized for the confusion. The three of us kept talking, but I was absent, wondering if the pizza story was true or whether it was the restaurant’s response to our colours, our sexuality, our accents. Today I woke up and Donald Trump had won the presidency of the United States.

 

Julián David Correa

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