Saturday evening, we were in the subway with my fiancée, headed to a friend’s birthday party on the other side of town. When I say ‘other side of town’, I mean there was one connection. Which qualifies as a proper trip, as far as I’m concerned: at this point, I don’t go anywhere I can’t bike to. Soon, I’ll be running everywhere: they call fitness addictive, they’re not wrong…
Anyway, we were quietly sitting on benches on either side of the train because there were no two seats available next to each other. So people would on occasion walk between us, sometimes hitting us with Saturday grocery bags (mostly jeans and shoes, from the 2018 fall collection I assume). At the end of the car facing us, there was a tall, young black man on one of the folding seats, with his friend on the other aisle, kind of like us. And when I say tall, I mean he was taller sitting than I was standing. And I’m not that small, thank you very much.
A couple of stops before ours, the guy stood up (from where I was sitting, he now looked like Shaq-height) with a pretty mean look on his face. His friend quickly followed. The first one started walking towards us, with the other one right behind him. He got past us, bumping against me on the way, with his friend still following suit. Then I heard: “You lookin’ at me?”
I turned around: the guy was talking to the only other black man in the car. It felt a bit racist, if you ask me, but I didn’t say shit: I didn’t want to spoil the moment.
Guy: I said, why the hell are you lookin’t at me?
Other guy: I’m sorry?
Guy: You got a problem with me, motherf****r?!
Other guy: Huh… No…
Guy: Wanna settle this shit outside?!
Other guy: No need, I’m sorry!
And the guy and his friend left. I turned around again: the other guy was looking at his neighbour, visibly shaken: “I don’t know what happened, I was just looking at that grocery bag over there… Made me think I need to buy new jeans…”
Jeans are a dangerous thing.