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There was something about watching a black boy murdered from the comfort of my home that made me want to go out and love a black man as hard as I could, as though somehow it could resurrect the child in him.I started dating my first official black boyfriend, a neuroscientist, shortly after.It was only a month later that it struck me that it was over.After nine months, my black savior, the neuroscientist, had broken up with me and left me with no words to cry over.He rode skateboards and carried around napkins in his front pocket, a habit he’d learned from his grandpa.He joked like friends from my hometown, but there was a newness to his voice that I didn’t know.We live together in a small studio in Chelsea, where we cook dinners and take showers.We ask each other about dessert options and call each other good-looking even though we have gained weight.
These were the days that he learned how to hold me when I cried.
He was gentle in a very straightforward way, pulling out chairs for me at restaurants and picking me up after work to take me to exhibition openings, where he would look at me instead of looking at the art.
He supported my work and called me Butterfly; our relationship was nauseatingly blissful. I posted photos of black love on every social media account and considered myself as part of a larger revolution.
We always felt halfway to a crime that we could never commit.
We were two people of color, the passive transgression, but the responsibility of leaving our races still clung onto our chests.