My lack of expectation for Firenze rewarded me in realizing this city is hella romanticized. An Arab kid I met in McDonald’s (who would later help me find bud) told me how everyone here wakes up goes to work comes home repeats which explains, in his words, “the depressing undertone” if one stops to pay attention.

My highlight of my first two weeks here was walking into an African shop to get some essential oils. I looked through the fabrics and tried to inspect as much as i could as i took my sweet ass time. I had found something that felt familiar, almost home but not exactly. A long lost part of home maybe. Part of me didn’t want to leave, I wanted to share myself with them but I had no other business here. At the end of the day it’s all business. That’s the metropolitan mindset of a city like Florence. She called me darling though and my heart eased up. ​ My heart eased up.

I think that says a lot about my comfortability, about this culture shock of being taken from my niche of melanated brothers and sisters into a pool of ghosts.

In the mornings I walk by black men begging for change with tears in their eyes and shivering skeletons. I try to give them at least some change when I can and when I do I make sure to look them in the eyes to let them know the universe in me acknowledges the universe in you.

Everyone walks past you but I see you. Even on my broke days, I see you. I wish I could do more, say more, be more. For us, for our families. Lord knows if they’re playing me but I trust my intuition.

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