749. Purple robe
© Bruce Goodman 29 October 2015

Louvenia’s ancestors were from Angola. For generations, however, her ancestors had lived in Brazil. They moved to the United States a few generations back. Louvenia was proud of her African heritage.

She worked in a laundromat. She loved her job, or more particularly, she loved the pay packet that came once every two weeks. Some customers were rude. Other customers were lovely; always polite and kind. Louvenia took extra care with their clothes. The rude one’s clothes got washed and ironed without a care.

There was one very polite man who came to the laundromat about once a month. His name was Virgil. He was a short, weedy, little man with glasses. He was always convivial and seemed to appreciate the care that Louvenia put into caring for his clothes. Louvenia thought he must have been a bishop because he always brought in a purple robe to be washed. She took special care with it because it was for “Virgil the Bishop”. His robe was washed by hand, and ironed with attentiveness, and folded neat with care.

“There we are, Bishop,” Louvenia would say. “No charge this week.”

But he wasn’t a bishop at all. His robe was purple because he was head of the KKK.

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