September 11, 2004

Random street scene

Last night on the way home from the library, the guy who boarded the bus right behind me was a tallish, heavy-set Marine-looking type with blue eyes, a blond crewcut, and tattoos all over his neck and arms (and presumably upper body): a Confederate flag on the back of his neck, a KKK cross on his left elbow, a Nazi stormtrooper on his right bicep, various Celtic and Norse symbols and other images I couldn't identify here and there.

Of all the seats he could have chosen on this not-too-crowded bus, he sat down next to a young and very black girl. Not to stir up crap or anything, as he didn't pay her any more attention than common courtesy required.

Oddly enough, if I hadn't just started reading the short stories of Flannery O'Connor, full of snobs and bigots and hypocrites of all kinds, I might never have noticed the incongruity.

It kind of made me wonder what his story is - or better, what it could be if I had a mind to write one. Is he the white supremist thug his decorations suggest? Or is he over that, having recently found God, but unfortunately there isn't enough skin in the world to graft over his tattoos? And why that seat in particular if he could have chosen any number of nice Aryan seatmates to share with?

I may never know. Any aspiring authors want to take a crack at it?