“Ah ain’t no lady.”
Lips thin, drawn down in an inverted crescent. Eyes squinting with disdain. Face scrunched into a picture of dissatisfaction. Even her haircut seemed to radiate a loathing for the object of her ire.
“Ah’m a cleanin’ WOMAN – an’ doan you forgitt it.”
The mistaken hotel customer managed the difficult feat of stifling a laugh and apologising profusely at the same time. She waved him away, along with his insincere protestations of innocence.
“Jus’ gwan, git! Lemme do mah job an’ clean up aftah yo’ dang mess…”
Obeying instructions, the mild-mannered but ignorant guest cut short his babbling and gratefully withdrew from the room, allowing her to focus on the work at hand. Some work, for a woman who had marched alongside MLK, protested against ‘Nam, helped free Ellsberg…and a hell of a lot more besides. Then again, she didn’t do it for any personal benefit, any public recognition, or any social mobility – she did it because she had principles and guts, and because it was the right thing to do.
After cleaning up society’s ills, she had returned to her regular employment as a cleaning lady –
“WHAT DID I TELL YOU, AH’ AIN’T-”
– sorry, woman, woman…she returned to her regular employment as a cleaning woman.
Solidarity, brothers & sisters…☿