I’m in Nashville for the next two days for Doruk’s graduation. It’s been a quick three years of law school, and now he’s getting ready for a big adventure in Brooklyn as a real estate lawyer. I’m incredibly proud of him. I’ll do a larger Nashville post Friday night/Saturday morning (with appropriate food shots of course).

But I realized tonight just how polarizing my love/hate relationship is with the South.

I love the food. It’s not good for your health, but it’s great for your soul. It’s made with love, and it may shorten your life, but it fills it with joy.

I love the kindness. People treat each other well. Please and thank you are standard. You say sir and ma’m where it’s appropriate.

I hate the racism. It’s rampant, and it’s everywhere. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.

I hate the narrow mindedness. Folks are proud to be ignorant; proud to be backwards; and proud of their inability to change.

I love the music. I love country music. The instruments are played exceptionally. The lyrics are stories about real life.

I hate the religious fervor. It’s the most false form of Christianity possible.

But when the siren sings her song I come back. I chase my sweet tea. I eat my BBQ brisket and chicken. Then look across the railroad tracks and see all the things that are broken. And it’s as if the siren has crashed me against the rocks leaving me to drown at sea.