Sunday, November 05, 2006

Overheard in the bus

On the bus from Williamsburg to Bushwick I overheard a conversation in Spanish between an middle aged, sweet looking guy with a cane, and a young woman with frizzy, dyed, overgelled hair.
Imagine a regular conversation between neighbors or relatives, but instead of talking about the sins normal people commit (cheating, boozing, taking up smoking again, being a bulimic, not taking the garbage out), this was about criminal activity. Someone's seventy year-old mother got sent to jail because her sons were hiding the drugs in the house and the bastards let her take the rap, the poor woman. Then the guy recounts his many experiences with the lawless and gives the young girl a lesson on criminal ethics. "If I am carrying a revolver and you don't know and then you become an accessory, it's wrong for me not to tell you; but if you know it and you still want to stick around, well then that's your problem." Then he describes to her somebody who was knifed. "You should have seen how they left him, sister", he says, "any place where he didn't think he was going to get stabbed, they stabbed him." Our Eliza Doolitle doesn't bat an eye.
Then our Pygmalion here expounds at length about the reasons he got sent to jail several times, yet somehow he never had anything to do with it. The first time, he was just standing there; the second time, he got in with the wrong crowd; the third time, he swears by the most holy he had no idea, etc.
This, by the way, is not whispered discreetly as a shared secret. I was sitting two rows away and heard it loud and clear.

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