Thursday, November 24, 2011

Judgement Call

On the way home from work today I sat in my usual spot, in the back half, near the exit door. I put my head down and opened my current read, Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds. The half hour it takes to get home speeds by incredibly fast every time I lose myself in the pages of a novel.

At some point, something caught my eye, a slightly flutter on the floor by the door, next to a lone standing passenger. It was a small slipcase, possibly for an iPod-like device, light fabric, more for style than protection. It was black with what appeared to be a white floral design.

I politely tapped the standing fellow on the shoulder and indicted the object, which I thought could have easily slipped from his pocket, backpack or hand.

"Is that yours? I think you dropped it."

He was well dressed, in his early twenties, I guessed. He picked up the item, offering it to me.

"Oh, no. It's not mine. I thought it might have been yours. I noticed it just now on the floor by your feet."

Without batting an eyelid, he looked at me and said "No. I'm not gay." Then dropped it on the floor again. I shrugged and turned back to my book, whereupon I heard him say "You'd have to be gay to own that. It's really gay."

Let me pause here and clarify something. While the case was not covered in images of naked women, bloodsplattered enemies, or soccer balls, it was hardly what I would describe as overly feminine. Sure, it was a floral pattern, but the black and white style was hardly an immediate indicator of anyone’s preferred sexual orientation.

I continued my reading momentarily, before being interrupted.

"What are you reading?"

I show him the cover. "It's science fiction."

"Are you a 70's?"

"Um... what?"

He looks at me like I've suddenly sprouted a second and possibly third head. "Do you live down near 70th?"

"Oh", I reply, understanding now. "Yes. On 71st."

"Thought so. You should read something about a dystopian future. I think that'd suit you better."

I try not to stare at him for more that a second, but it's difficult. This random guy has known me for, literally, less than 60 seconds. In that time he has decided that, based on where I live and what I read, I would be much better off reading about some end-of-the-world doom and gloom.

Without responding, I turn back to my book and continue reading, making a judgement call of my own.


1 comment:

Yvonne said...

You are lucky if this your definition of an asshole...there are worse, but maybe you've not had the misfortune to meet one.