TuesDATE: Don’t Talk To Me

photos by roger wingfield

Him:  Hey.  Remember me?

Me:  Oh God.  No.  Don’t.

Him:  What?

Me:  I do remember you.  Excuse me…

Him:  What’s wrong?  Don’t you wanna talk to me?

Me:  I don’t want to go into it.  People are meeting me here soon and I just want to have a good time, and not have a scene or whatever.

Him:  What??!  I’m not going to cause a scene!!  What did I do??

Me:  Honestly?  You don’t remember?  Come on.  When was the last time you saw me?

Him:  Here?  Didn’t I meet you here one night?

Me:  You did, but that wasn’t the last time I saw you.

Him:  Oh my God!!  My mother was here that night. 

Me:  She was.  Yes she was.

Him:  Oh, me and my mom drink a lot when we get together.  It’s not pretty.

Me:  Right.  You guys were both very flirty with me.

Him:  I remember pouring on the charm, wait, my mother was flirting with you too??

Me:  She kept asking if she could ‘grab my basket,’ and reaching for my crotch.

Him:  Oh, no!  How embarrassing. 

Me:  That was fine.  I mean, it was odd, but I didn’t think too much of it, other than it was strange.

Him:  Well you can’t hold that against me.  It was my mother.  I didn’t do that.

Me:  I know.  But then I saw you after that…

Him:  When?

Me:  A few weeks after that.  On the train.  You don’t remember?

Him:  Refresh my memory.

Me:  Uh…  You and your friend were wasted…  It was around midnight or so, on the L from Manhattan to Brooklyn.

Him:  You’ll have to be more specific.

Me:  Um, you were drunk and talking very loudly.  Then some guy indicated that maybe you should be a little quieter, and not bother everyone.  Does this ring a bell yet?

Him:  I mean, it’s getting clearer, but I have a tendency to have altercations on the train when I’m drinking.

Me:  Okay, so, rather than quiet down, you started talking all ghetto, saying how you were a black lady who grew up in the projects and that you’d been on welfare and subsidized housing programs your entire life and that you didn’t have to take that kind of abuse from some over privileged white hipster boy.

Him:  Oh I remember that night!  Everyone on the train was laughing at that. 

Me:  Well, at first…  For the first 30 seconds or so, the hipster kids were really into your little rant.  But then it went on and on, for like 8 minutes.  Your friend was egging you on at 3rd avenue, but by the time we got to Bedford, nobody was laughing anymore and your friend was begging you to be quiet.   But, uh…  you kept going.

Him:  I don’t remember that.  I only remember being very funny.  Everyone was laughing. 

Me:  At first there was this certain amount of laughter, but then you took it way too far, and started talking about watermelon and chitlins, and all sorts of offensive stuff…  I don’t want to go into what all you said, but there were a growing number of people of color on the train who looked like they wanted to strangle you.   And to be honest, so did I.

Him:  Oh my God.  I don’t have to listen to this.  I have every right to say what I want on the train…  Why don’t you try having a sense of humor, for once?

Me:  You know what bothered me the most?  After you’d successfully alienated everyone on the train?  After that, you made eye contact with me and pointed and said, ‘Oh!  I know you!  You’re the flirty guy from the bar!’  And let me tell you, I was never so glad for it to be my stop as I was right then.

Him:  Oh sorry, Mister High-and-Mighty – I didn’t realize I’m not allowed to talk to you in public.  I drink, okay?  I like to have fun, okay???  I have a sense of humor and I won’t be censored by some tight-ass that doesn’t know how to have a good time!!

Me:  Listen…  I won’t lecture you or even tell you that your little rant on the train was racist, uncomfortable, and possibly worst of all – unfunny.  But don’t talk to me.  If you’re going to make that kind of scene in public, and alienate everyone on the train, DON’T turn around and involve me in your little circus act.  I’m not interested.

Him:  Okay…  Fine…  I won’t talk to you in public.

Me:  No.  You’re not hearing me.  I think you’re an obnoxious, racist brat.  You get wasted and grand stand for attention, which makes people titter for a few seconds, but ultimately leaves them feeling alienated and uncomfortable.

Him:  I think that –

Me:  You’re boring.  I don’t care what you think, or what you have to say.

Him:  How old are you??

Me:  Here’s what’s going to happen, okay?  Don’t talk to me.  Don’t ever talk to me again.  Okay?  Go get drunk with your mother and compete for boys, or whatever you do.  But don’t talk to me.  I will punch you, if you talk to me again.  Got it?

(long pause.  he opens his mouth to say something.  another long pause.  he closes his mouth.  he turns.  he walks away.)

 

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