rendez-vous with race 3

Martin Anderson and Brian Nudelman (Noo-DEL-man for anyone at my middle school in 1987 who dared to pronounce it noodleman) were inseparable. Brian was a tall, lanky, and skinny with a large head which hung over his pencil body that had not yet undergone puberty of any serious kind. When he walked, it seemed his low-hanging Adam’s apple guided him like a heat-seeking missile. Martin was a kid with perfect complexion, gorgeous smile, and medium build in every which way. Brian happened to be white, which was not unusual, but Martin happened to be Black. One of the three Black kids in our middle school. The others were brother and sister who lived down the street from Margaret, but I only knew them from the occasions when I took the bus home with her. Aside from Martin’s smile and dark skin, he was almost nondescript. He wasn’t dumb or smart or athletic or non-athletic or musical or non-musical or any other tween descriptor. I managed to spend 6 years daily with him without ever knowing him any better.

One thought on “rendez-vous with race 3

  1. OK, so this slice slams me with regret when I read it. (At the same time, I appreciate your sensitivity in dropping in parenthetical pronunciation for Brian’s last name. Without that, I would’ve bungled it.)


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