Saturday, December 18, 2004

an epic battle on the subway

The other day, I got into a very unusual altercation with a Black man on the subway. No, there was no direct confrontation, but let me explain...

This was my normal commute home from work. I pretty much take the 4-train from door to door. All I have to do is sit my ass in a seat and wait for the ride to be over; I thought that this particular ride was never going to end.

Now, I'm probably the least racist person I know; the school system in which I spent the first eighteen years of my life (inaccurately insinuating that I started attending school at birth) was surprisingly racially integrated. Race didn't matter, culture didn't matter, religion didn't matter. We were however intellectually segregated, and low and behold, I resent stupid people. You just can't win, can you, American culture? Anyway, this guy's Black - cool, I appreciate our similarities and differences. I don't think he had a problem with me either, but the battle about to ensue was beyond our control; and yes, it was racially motivated.

We're both sitting there, across from eachother, minding our own business, when we (and everyone else within a ten block radius) hear a Black man, at the other end of the subway car, yelling at the top of his lungs at a White man. We both look over, and when the guy across from me sees that this weirdo's Black too, he winces in pain. The battle has begun.

In America today, one bad apple can make a whole race look like shit. Yes, we're getting better, but there's still this underlying cultural grouping going on. Thanks to the guy down at the other side of the subway car, this poor guy across from me just got bitchslapped out of the blue. I'm sure that it was completely unintentional, but it happened. Like I said, this whole thing was out of our hands.

I'm not sure what those guys are fighting about, but the Black guy seems like a stereotype that Dave Chappel would act out. He's yelling at the White guy about the fact that he wasn't given a proper education - fair enough. The champion of the White race lifts his sword high and says in that classic, condescending, White pseudo-intellectual tone, "I went to college but threw my education away. I work in a museum now." Ouch!... that fucker nicked me with that fucking sword. Watch where you point that thing!

Okay, the Black guy across from me is still hurt worse than I am. I'm bleeding, but his bruises are starting to show. I feel bad for us both - more is sure to come.

The dark knight is getting more and more irate, but this is to be expected. He pulls out a pretty fucking hefty mallet and yells, "Come knock a nigga out!" Okay - the mallet missed my rival; this guy's strategically trying to provoke the white knight into seeming a racist or into resorting to physical violence. Excellent move.

I'm not worried though. Anyone with half a brain would jus.... OUCH!!! I got hit so hard that I could barely hear my champion above the ringing in my ears as he said, "Well, there are two definitions for the word 'nigger'. Are you referring to the slang definition or the KKK definition?" What the fuck is this guy doing? I swear to god I lost a finger or two from that blow.

This was an extremely long battle, but I'll just fast-forward and give you the highlights:

Dark knight: "I'm 42 and I look younger than you. I could take you out!"
White knight: "I'm twenty-six, and I have taken out people older than you."
Dark knight: "I'm gonna throw you off this train! I'm gonna throw your ass out!"
White knight: "I'm sitting right next to you; you don't have to yell. And please, slow your speech down, I am having difficulty understanding what you're saying."
Dark knight: "Come at me, I just wanna break your neck!"

We're both hurting pretty bad at this point, and barely have the strength to fight on. Unluckily for my opponent, the reinforcements come. That's right, when the train stops at Wall Street, picking up both Black and White troops, splendored in their shining armor and silk ties, the white knight realizes his folly and submits to his superiors, finally shutting the fuck up. The dark knight continues to defy orders as he repeats over and over, "Come at me, I just wanna break your neck!"

It was a close battle, but I won. My opponent slinked off with what strength he still had, all the while taking blows from a big ass mallet. Unfortunately, there were no spoils in this battle... nothing to be gained, and mostly pride to be lost. I'm just thankful that this took place in New York, rather than Alabama, or I'd surely have been done in.