Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Go Back School

One guy followed another onto the train. The first guy was a normal-looking, pudgy office worker–type, thirtysomething. The other guy was an old man with teeth missing, a dirty T-shirt, ratty sandals and socks that said “USA.”

“Why you say fuck?!” the old man demanded. “Go back school! Go back school! Go back school! Uh, uh, uh, uh! Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!”

I tried to discern whether the first man was reacting or responding at all. He had one of his earbuds in his hand, up near his head, indicating that he was trying to listen but maybe not for long. He muttered a few words of protest, or incomprehension.

“You dumb?! You dumb?! You go back school, eh! Go back school, go back school, go back school. Fuck! Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, you say. What is this fuck?”

Another man on the train tried to intercede, asking the old man to chill out. I wondered if that would set him off in an explosive rage. In fact he quieted down a little.

“You say fuck, you say fuck. Fuck, fuck fuck” he muttered.

At the next stop the other man got off. Might not have been his stop, but he’d had a long enough ride.