Monday, June 01, 2015

As I walked across 9th Avenue last Friday, on my way to pick up Jackie from school, I saw two men walk past each other in front of me. They seemed unremarkable: in their 30s, dressed casually, one white, one black. I noticed that they bumped shoulders slightly, awkwardly. No apologies were made. The white guy passed me as the black guy walked on ahead—but after a few paces, still in the crosswalk, he stopped and turned around, as though he’d suddenly remembered something. He strode up to the other guy and smacked him on the side of the head. I watched from the sidewalk, expecting a brawl to erupt in the Avenue as the lights turned green. Instead, the victim cowered a little and stared at his aggressor, perplexed. They both went on their separate ways and that was it.