Regardless, we are ruthless and efficient with money and lies. So we do what we do and the rest of the world (ie "you") suffer for it, because, ya know, fuck you.
Anyhow, I'm in my ridiculous, excuse-less sports car going 2mph over the last gigantic speedbump (there are five along that route) at an angle pre-determined to cause the least amount of sub-frame scraping when I catch the eye of the young thugz who hang by the wholefoods. These are the guys who work the loading dock or the kitchen prep areas or who work in bucket patrol. They're young-ish, maybe early 20s. They're mostly a Benetton ad of diversity mixed profusely with a certain outer-suburb gangsta' lean. I'd say "urban" or even "inner city" but here (as well as where you are) the inner city and urban areas are pricey lofts and condos reserved for families like mine: two dogs and a wife with a doctorate. If we had a Volvo we'd be required to live in some downtown highrise loft with cement floors and a perfect view of some bar, but we've avoided that circumstance so far. It's true, though, that nowadays, the worst sorts are in neighborhoods like mine: extra-urban, dense, cookie cutter houses all crammed together to maximize profit and minimize humanity. These kids, I see them walking from the bus to their house as I wind my way home, and I know what sorts of look they give me. So when I catch their eye, my shiny low slung silver sports car and my tattoos and my cell phone PDA email client and my NPR and my Merrell shoes, my cruelty-free free trade union-labor linen shirt, my recycled jeans, I know precisely what they think about me.
Because I know what I think about myself.
But the artifice is both ways, boys, and they have the same manufactured by Hollyweird casting director look of lowland gangsta, that low slung denim and cotton, jailhouse tat and cigarette, Nikes or Adidas, canvas and rough knuckles that someone sold them from a rap song. I park directly in front of them because I Love Conflict and I walk staring at the one who stares at me and he watches me walk by, and makes that sound, that "Psch" sound, dismissive, like my task was apparently to confront him gorilla or jailyard style and beat his fucking skull in.
When I come back out with my ten dollars of chicken salad (no bag please!) and my copy of The Chronicle (which I won't read but only have for added ironic effect) I notice that alpha dog gangsta boy is crouched low by my right front tire. I get hot. My shoulders broaden. My arms tighten, and my left hand already wrapped around my keys is memorizing the steps between dropping the keys and getting the CRKT and I know, for a fact, that I am about to get serious when he looks up. Points to the screw sticking out of my tire, which has been there long enough to be road worn. Tells me, man, yo, dude, this thing ain't gonna' help if you go as fast as that thing can go. I laugh, endorphines on hold. I never go as fast as that thing can go, I say.
We both acknowledge the moment, two monkeys staring at a wheel, waiting for evolution.
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