Handlebar Hijabs and Skipping Synopses

Man with assault rifle in front of Dearborn Public Library holding sign saying Liberty Has No Borders
Photo by Hector Ochoa

The car parked in front of me looked like something out of a movie. An old, powder blue pick-up with three miniature American flags. I knew the person already but I hated myself for assuming so quickly. The car was a little rustic like the man in my head. I walked to see the back of the car and was disappointed that I was so right: Trump/Pence. The only thing that surprised me was that it was the library parking lot.

I stepped into the library and walked around for a bit. I was searching for a specific book, one that fit exactly the car outside. Rule #1: Never judge a book by its cover. But this cover had the story written all over the back…or on the top.

I found him easily in the sea of computers like a red mark on a map. He was a man probably in his 60s with white hair and a handle bar mustache that dragged down, making him look like he was frowning. Maybe he was, I really couldn’t tell. I sat at the computer in front of him. I wondered what he was doing on that computer. I wondered how he was judging me.

Hopefully not the same way I was judging him. He had the controversial red hat on and I had the controversial hijab on. His screamed ‘I’m a racist bigot but don’t know any better by the way I was raised.’ And maybe mine whispered ‘I was forced to wear this and my messy bun under it is probably a bomb.’

I just waited until he looked up at me and then smiled. A genuine smile. I saw his mustache twitch as he smiled back.