Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Passive Aggressive/Aggressively Passive

I’m sitting on a worn wooden bench on the train platform at 57th Street when the skinny, sketchy-looking white guy with the thin facial hair rolls up on me. He makes sure to make eye contact before sitting down two seats over, and as he sits, he pulls something out of his pocket that lands with a metallic thump on the seat between us, loud enough to register even over the sound of Beck in my headphones.

There’s some sort of attempt at intimidation happening here, maybe even attempted robbery, but I’ve been here before, and I know that there’s a script here, and if he doesn’t get the response he’s looking for, the little drama he’s trying to enact won’t be able to proceed, so I don’t look at what ever he’s holding between us. The train rolls into the station, and I unhurriedly stand up, go the door as it opens and step on the subway, only now glancing back to watch sketchy white guy look up and down the platform in agitation, then dash away like he’s being chased.

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