creole asians @ america

So, last night I’m waiting in the security line to get into the ballpark in D.C. This Asian dude a bit younger than me queues up in the next line over and starts staring and pointing at me and saying stuff to his friends about me. This goes on for longer than expected. Then he takes a step toward me and says, “Blah blah blah motherfucker.” I’m like, “What?” He says it again. “Blah blah is a motherfucker.” I’m like, “Who’s a motherfucker?”

I’m thinking “Is this a fight in the making?” but third time’s the charm. “You CALM as a MOtherfucker,” he repeats — in our workaday-best “urban” dialect, no less. He’s like, “You so calm, it’s like maybe you finna kill somebody, but still you calm as hell.”

The reference to killing didn’t faze me. It’s just a figure of speech in Asia, in my experience. What got me was the randomness of the encounter. I was touched. Ten or 15 years back, Asian Americans in “mixed company” did not acknowledge each other like this. That never seemed right to me, actually — that aloofness, I mean. I put in many years of my lost youth trying to “be that change”, on this front and many others. It was art. Yesterday it felt like what had gone around had come around at last. I almost shed a tear, on the inside.

Alright, now. Let’s go see about that revo— oops, I mean, evolution.

Looking out over left center field at the neighborhood called Navy Yard.
Looking out over left center at the neighborhood called Navy Yard.

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