Albert Singh held the yellowing picture in his shaky hands: his great grandpa in his whitest turban, about to board the Collette. He laid the image down, shaking his head and picked up the next: his grandmother Moira, from north-east England and her little boy, Stanley. Stanley had been a cabbie in New Jersey before he’d moved to Queens, his pale skin allowing him to get a job as Stan Singer. Albert smiled. How his dad laughed as he remembered the caller thought him Jewish, letting him go on winter evenings to be home before the Sabbath began. These days Albert was proud to be a Singh, proud how his old man had taken part in protests back in the day. Given a lift to one of King’s men the day after the Dream speech. ‘That guy,’ Stanley’d said, ‘was a bigot, boy. Told him I had Hindu folks and he told me we were the worst Uncle Tom’s. Changed me, he did.’
Not much, thought Albert. Still opened his door to waifs and strays, like Rico from Costa Rica – an illegal, real trouble but a good kid at heart, said Stan. His mother Joyce had fed them, gone to the cops and talked them out of jail. Made a home for them all.
And here was Albert, the scion of Singh Electronics. Fabulous house, two kids in college and one at MIT and yet… He fidgeted and looked at the piece of paper sitting in the middle of his desk: details of where he had to go to vote. He knew it well enough but this was going to be as hard a trip as he’d made. The Singhs had voted Democrat, always but this time Albert was a Trump man. It was the price of stability, of success.
This week’s microcosms prompts are (character) Refugee, (setting) civil right’s movement, (genre) memoir