Wednesday, July 13, 2011

There were two young white guys standing on the F train home, intoxicated, overheated. One said something about one of the two pretty black girls chatting on the other side of the pole. She didn't hear. Or maybe she did.

It was no insult.

Their voices rose and fell. It was hard to make sense of their conversation - they mentioned friends, I guess. Parties. Some kid they knew who followed some band around the mid-Atlantic states. To the Merriweather Post Pavillion and beyond.

"How can he afford it?"

"Dude, he's fuckin' rich!"

"Oh yeah?"

"He's so, so, so, so, so fuckin' rich! He's got like, tons of electric guitars."

"Oh yeah?"

"He had a Super Bowl party. His mom made like, Cajun food."


"'Cause of the Saints."


"She made crocodile stew."

"No fuckin' way!"

I found myself idly fantasizing that they'd notice me, say something rude. Insolent. Deride me for my hat. I thought through the magnificent steps of my furious response.

They grew louder yet, at times. People sitting farther down the car looked up from the papers and the books they rested in their laps. Their electronic reading devices.

"I don't care if people look at me," one boy said. "This is how I am."

As I walked past them off the train at Seventh Avenue, this is what I thought: They're not so bad. They're not so bad at all.