When I was 20 or so, a cop rapped on the door of the apartment that I shared with Nancy, a girl that I did not know well. He needed to talk to her. I didn't know where she was and said so. "What is it with you people?" he said. "You people? What exactly does that mean? Who are you to assume anything about me?!" my rebellious mouth retorted. My cat skittered out the door.
A generation has passed. I have traveled, studied at respected institutions, published papers, taught college courses. This morning I walked to the sidewalk like some entitled suburbanite to inspect my garden with coffee in hand when I was nearly knocked off my feet by some kid on a skateboard. "Hey, watch it!" "Sorry," he said, bashfully, hair in his face. Hopping back on the skateboard he turned, "I didn't mean to you know..." No, certainly not, I thought as I raised my cup. "Here's lookin' at you kid!"