Categories
Blog

The man in the coffee shop

Screen Shot 2019-03-08 at 11.33.33 AM

I’m in a coffee shop. There’s a man at the counter talking at the barista. Not talking to. Talking at. He’s African-American, with a backpack, green pants, a brown jacket. He’s young. Maybe 30. He just said this …

“If you are black and you are a marine, you’re a nigger. I don’t want to be a nigger anymore. I fought for my country. And I don’t have the same rights as you. You’re white. You haven’t fought anyone. You haven’t lost any of your friends. I don’t understand why I’m not American and why you are. I have fought, I have killed, I’ve lost my friends. That’s a scary thing.”

This is the second day in a row where I’ve thought I might get shot in a workplace. The man just apologized to the barista for scaring her. He continued: “A lot of people don’t realize what happens in the world. People are assholes. Americans are assholes. I hate to say it, but it’s true.”

He is talking. He seems off. I want to embrace him; to invite him to sit down for a cup of coffee. But I am, to be honest, intimidated. One eye on the counter. The barista is trying to chat with him. It’s not going well. He’s on edge. Edgy. “We’re all grunts. All of us.”

One reply on “The man in the coffee shop”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s