Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Conversation Between An Old Black Man, An Old White Man and Myself

Inside of a Post Office, Mid-Afternoon

Old Black Man: Daaaayyyyuummm...

Me: [nervous laughter]

Old Black Man: Dis place look new. Dis a nice place ya got here.

Me: Yeah... It's actually like, kind of new. Like, it used to be over there [points right] but it moved here like, a few months ago.

Old Black Man: And it's nice outside too! For wintertime I mean. Dis place nice doe, dis place nice. I be like... I was like... comin' from Severance... Up on Miles? Or - I mean, Miles, and, uh, this is just way easier to git to y'know?

Me: [nervous laughter]

Old Black Man: Everything is so spread out nowadays.

Me: Yeah.

Old Black Man: I mean, I could do this online, and pay with my... with my debit card, y'know? But then people be... people be stealing yo number and what not. [Loud noise, expressing disbelief]. You never know what people are gonna do nowadays. It's crazy. Life is crazy now. Life is... [Loud noise, expressing disbelief].

Me: Yeah... Man... But... Hasn't it always been crazy?

Old Black Man: That's what I'm sayin'. Life is crazy. [Turns to Old White Man, standing behind me in line]. You know what I'm sayin' my brotha? Life is crazy. You just don't know anymore. You get old and you just don't know.

Old White Man: [Stares blankly ahead for ~10 seconds]. You know... I was just hearing on the radio... Teachers being accused of having sex with students.

Me: Jesus...

Old Black Man: Real?

Old White Man: It was just on the radio. On the way here. I was listening on the way here. A female teacher accused of having sex with an 8th grader. A student. But then it's like, people are saying that they bribed her. You know? And a lot of people were calling in saying she's innocent. But who're you going to believe - the 8th grader or the teacher? There weren't any witnesses.

Old Black Man: You don't say.

Old White Man: I would not want to be a teacher nowadays.

Old Black Man: Right. And my own kid... I mean... My own damn kid. But... I mean... It was for some girl. But my own damn kid, can you believe it?

Me: [grinning] I... I believe it.

Old Black Man: Crazy... Crazy... [Walks away].

Old White Man: I would not want to be a teacher nowadays.

Me: [Walks away].


  1. That's really good. I hope that most of that actually happened. That'd be sweet.

  2. "Hasn't it always been crazy?"disappointed crazy wasn't spelled cray-zayy but not actually. good job.

  3. @dj, thank you. all of the dialogue is written exactly as i remember it. i wrote this ~20 min. after the interaction took place.

    @joey, thank you. you won things on my blog and i need your address to send the prizes to. please e-mail

  4. lolol

    typed 'lolol' in a sincere manner

    feel like 'lolol' has sincerely entered my vocabulary now, via this line and previous two lines

  5. this is 100% less like the sunset limited than i imagined it being.

  6. @mallory, sweet, thank you
    @tao, lol, sweet... seems sweet
    @evan, what is 'the sunset limited'? seems like an interesting analysis

  7. cormac mccarthy screenplay about a conversation between an old black man and an old white man.

  8. somewhat frantically clicked 'comments' to see if i said 'lol' already or not

    glad i did, i think

    feeling uncertain of what i'm thinking/feeling currently