A couple days ago a big black guy (in jeweled eyeglasses, fancy sneakers) I would say around my age (that would be mid- going on late forties, people) got on the G train with his friends, sat down, and started talking very audibly (the whole train car could hear him) about how he was gonna get his GED, go back to school…said he already had a business, that he came from the hood and has always been a hustler, and now he was worried about his son out smoking weed… well, everyone learned a lot of information about him.
He was sitting right by the door and I said to him as I got off at Clinton/Washington: “You’ll like school: it rocks.” I told him I was a teacher (you see, I try never to miss a “teachable moment”). “School rocks? Yeah?” he said, smiled hugely, and hi-fived me. Then he looked me up and down. “You fine, too.”
OK, so he “objectified” me or whatever… but I think it was a kind of beautiful little New York encounter.