The bear wasn’t supposed to be there. It was just a black one, a mother whose deep eyes held ours for too long—so long that we continued to lock eyes, paralyzed, our weary knees locked by both reverence and fright.
We were squatting on the edge of the waterfront, warm brown waves lapping at our sand-speckled limbs. Oil rigs winked in the distance, the roar of a Confederate flag-adorned pickup truck occasionally punctuating the lazy ocean breeze.
We’re from Texas. Houston and Austin, respectively. At first, this didn’t seem to matter much. We both come from transplant families, families who found Texas by accident—or kismet—depending on which way you look at it. The more we talked, the more we fell back on this shared upbringing in order to make sense of who we are: two ethnically ambiguous, romantically adrift young women in Donald Trump’s America.