I run into a friend at a bar and a waiter comes by to get our orders. The waiter smiles and asks, ‘What would you like, sir?’ I freeze and my friend grins, placing a warm hand on the waiter’s arm. ‘I’m a ma’am,’ she says, as if she’s used to correcting others this way (and it breaks my heart that she is). The waiter blanches, apologetic over his error. He would mistakenly call her ‘sir’ once more later on, but always quick to say ‘ma’am’ right after, and he returns after a while with our drinks, and a table spread of free bar chow. ‘I’m truly sorry,’ he says over and over again. My friend consoles him with her forgiveness and gratitude, and I would feel nothing but awe at her strength, compassion, and kindness.
‘We won’t stop fighting,’ she tells me later on. ‘One day, we’ll get there.’
One day. We will.