CRUISE

My (white) brother asked me (white) to be a crewman on his boat in the Bahamas for a month. I brought a bag of lanyard string and made these pieces while staring at the horizon, rocking. As an Evangelical Christian child, I learned lanyard stitches and never forgot them. On this trip I told my parents I was gay. They responded by erasing this aspect of me. I was experiencing the pain of parental rejection while also witnessing the very present pain of colonialism. It was so stark, the difference in the bodies of the served/ the serving. One day we anchored the boat in a harbor of a small island (Half Moon Cay) owned by Holland America cruise line. I jumped off the boat and swam to shore. This private island was emptied of all the tourists and I explored the emptied shell of U.S. hetero family vacations. There were all the amenities to make an unforgettable experience. There was a place where people could touch a manta ray, tiny sailboats, a bar shaped like a pirate ship, countless tables, an empty buffet, a hair braiding cabana, a place where a person could dive for a pearl. There was even a chapel where a couple could get married or renew their vows. Everything was painted neon colors, as if in the white imagination of Caribbean culture. There is a rumor that they take the trash and dump it in the ocean. The sand is like whipped cream. The erotics of colonial desire erasing.

 
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