Am I becoming paranoid? Am I afraid to take responsibility for my own actions, am I too weak to change my life on my own? Do I blame the world for my problems? Possibly. I don't know the true nature of things.

Last night I went to a party for the people who run and work at the restaurants here on the upper west side. All of R's friends from the area were there, though he seemed a bit withdrawn (as he tends to be at social events) in any case he was engaged in a game of backgammon with his good friend U. U speaks only a smattering of English but through the game they hold a kind of conversation.

Meanwhile, I tried to talk to people. I talked to a man from Argentina for a long time about politics, the conversation might have been better if the music hadn't been so loud. When the music is loud it's so hard to think. But I tried to think. Then I went to the rest room for some quiet and looked in the mirror.

When I look in the mirror I'm startled by my appearance. I don't know what I expect to see, someone else, I guess. I look insignificant, I think. I think if I met a short little black girl like myself I wouldn't bother getting to know her. I know that is unfair and wrong and cruel and bad --but this culture has infested me. With meditation I can shake it off, but what I see each day only reaffirms my prejudices.

R is watching a movie. "deep rising" --it's a movie about sea monsters. But I've pulled away and can't watch, not so much because it is stupid (it is) but because it's one of those movies where each person is killed off in a predictable order. First the ugly rich guy or the pretty Asian girl, then anyone with an accent, then the black guy... in the end the white guy and white girl are left ... I'm so sick of it. As for for the black girl she's not even in in the movie. She was dead before the story even began.

I don't feel sorry for myself. I feel very angry. I don't want to believe any of this. But I think, even if the prejudices are as great as I sometimes feel they are what dose it matter? There are not many black women anyway. Most are poor and too busy to watch monster movies or engage in vigorous social climbing. So what if we become invisible? I mean what is race anyway? A made up game with no real meaning.

But if I can learn to dismiss myself ... what might someone who didn't have the obstacle of pride to overcome believe?

Perhaps I'll make a yolk for myself. A sign. It will say "I AM HUMAN" --that way when I look in the mirror I won't have so many doubts.

I think everyone is tired of angry "minorities" --everyone has a hard time now and then. Why can't I just accept that life is unfair? Pluck up and give it my best shot?

I ask myself these questions and think: well, why should I? I don't feel any happier pretending to smile than I do frowning. And being untrue to myself makes me nauseous.