My favorites, race


Below the word “Brooklyn” read the words “New York.” The clarifying cities arced in opposite directions creating a circle of letters fonted in a way to make them look possibly Asian – nay: possibly martial arts. In the center of the circle sat the description: “100%” in a font less reminiscent of karate and more reminiscent of Microsoft Word. Below this tattoo lay another that detailing a Cuban and American flag embraced through a set of claws that gripped to the hump of his outer bicep as though the strength of their national pride would cause the flags to fly off like a scared bat on the subway.

He cracked his neck without using his hands. He took brief manly naps without releasing his scowl. He thought periodically about re-shaving his head and beard without checking the length with his hands.

The only black pair of pants he owned were draped around his lower half. They had three white stripes down the side that Adidas had deemed necessary to promote their type of pants. Everyone else at work had fully black pants and often made fun of him for wearing athletic wear in a restaurant where all the servers wore dress pants. Luckily he was only a busboy. He had been told when he was offered the job that everyone wore black pants while working. He incorrectly mistook “black” for a description of color as opposed to formality, and purchased the Adidas athletic legwear that was hanging next to the black sneakers he bought when he confused sneakers for shoes.

In sixth grade his class was taught the difference between a square and a rectangle. In eighth grade he understood it. For two years he would describe all four sided shape with four right angles as squares. Side length meant nothing.

In ninth grade he fell off a skateboard and broke his leg. It hasn’t healed completely. At times he can walk regularly, but at times his knees buckle so he keeps a cane nearby in case his bones make mistakes. Though the mistakes are rare, they’re drastic. Collapsing in the middle of times square is too scary to risk. A cane just makes more sense.

His co-workers make fun of his cane too. They think it an affectation because he rarely uses it. It’s too much work to explain the rarity with which he needs help walking.

No truths/words can save him from being the weird Cuban from Brooklyn, New York who wears athletic shoes and pants inappropriately and carries an aesthetic orthopedic cane.


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