I’ve always wanted to be a super hero and today I think I got my chance in the grocery store.
I was walking down the dairy aisle when I came up behind a young black man and his two friends. When they got to the Greek yogurt section they stood stupefied. It had been completely ransacked.
The one boy who had not yet seen me threw up clenched fists and bellowed the Brooklynites lament:
“WHITE PEEEOOPLEE” he moaned.
But before he could finish I squeezed past him with a calculated “excuse me”. He was stunned. There I was, as if on command: a white person.
For a second he was caught in the thought that he himself had summoned one more pale-skinned succubus from the ether of packaged goods and linoleum, from where they must be born.
Surely, for a moment my simple presence confirmed his deepest fears: that there really was more than meets the eye to this whole gentrification thing.
Me? I simply walked past as his friends burst into laughter. I lent him a smile and said “be careful what you wish for,” before flicking my oil-pull leather messenger bag behind my back like a cape and turning the corner.
Like Beetlejuice, like Batman, like the hero that no one needed and certainly didn’t want I was gone, leaving those in my wake to wonder if I ever actually existed.
Wondering if that was indeed an 8 oz tub of Fage 2% Greek yogurt curdling in my grocery basket.