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Porcelain Picket Fences

She entered a white world she wasn't ready to face.

* Trigger warning for Racism

Graphic by Amy Ly (Graphic Designer, The Continuist) IG: @famy.ly_dessart

By Samantha Audrey Ti (she/her, IG: @samanthaudrey)

There is a certain expectation of how you should behave while you're there. Sit nicely on the arm of the chair, don't talk too loud, don't laugh with your mouth wide open, and don't, for the love of God, let anyone remember that you're Chinese.

Please don't bring that up.

There you are, on his white couch after taking a ride in his white car to his white house with the white picket fence and giving a hug to his white mom, and everyone is pristine-like porcelain and isn't fine china made out of porcelain? Hey, you're Chinese, right?

Please don't bring that up.

And don’t cringe when his dad pulls out the accent. Instead, smile at his parents when they say that they love old Jackie Chan movies. They’re trying, and you suppose that’s enough even though you feel like a dog’s piss on freshly fallen snow, and perhaps that’s a disgusting metaphor, but you could feel the dog’s paws tap tap tapping into the house, tracking it in, and hey, don’t Chinese people eat–?

Please don't bring that up.

And don’t tell them that you can’t speak “Chinese” and that they should probably tell his little sister to stop saying that Chinese people have a virus and that perhaps they shouldn’t let her think it’s okay to pull her eyes back. Thank his mother for reprimanding her, and try not to wonder aloud if she would have done the same if you weren’t in the room.

Please don't bring that up.

And when, two years after it’s all done and dead in the grave, try not to let it stab a little when he posts a picture with his new girlfriend, and her blonde hair is the only yellow in the picture. Don’t think about Jackie Chan or porcelain. Don’t remember that dog’s piss in the snow. Don’t picture the sigh of relief they breathed when he brought her home.

And please don't bring me up.


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