I bought a dude a Tuna sandwich that was sitting outside of a Trader Joes – Well like, I bought the sandwich inside the Trader Joes.

The dude – He was sitting outside of it (the store)

I walked toward him, and a kid wearing a Gerogetown Law T-shirt told him to “get a job” (Not like, in a motivational way)

I walked up to the guy and he was clearly shook by the comment – I didn’t really know what to say so I just handed him the sandwich and prepared to keep walking.

He looked at it, handed it back, and said “Thank you brother but I don’t like tuna fish.”

So the first reaction – “Homie you’re sitting on the streets. You don’t have much room to be picky” – and before the thought was completed he said, in a super sincere fashion – “Only white people eat mayonnaise”

He had a point – white people have really expanded the mayo market.

We get our hands on sushi and we make fuckin California rolls?!?! That’s imitation crab, which is already God knows what, mashed together, and re-mashed together with mayonnaise.

The one that doesn’t cost shit because, you know – simple law of supply and demand – nobody wants California rolls – so you basically need to pay people to eat them – but everyone wants to seem like they can afford to go out to sushi, so they’re ordering some shit that they don’t even like.

And some of you are like “but I love California rolls.”

That’s just me looking at things from my own (arguably better) point of view.

Go to a Safeway deli at 8:00AM. There is a little sushi section sometimes, and you know what is ALWAYS there? A fuckin California roll.

Because a) no one ate that shit the night before and b) they’re borderline not even perishable, because it’s not fish. The only reason they have to refrigerate it is because mayonnaise has eggs and milk in it. Well, real mayonnaise does. Maybe it’s fake mayonnaise – I don’t know. I don’t typically buy Safeway California rolls

But that was some earth-shattering shit to hear from a homeless dude – I’m rethinking every pot luck (We don’t have cook outs – We have pot lucks) – So many macaroni salads. Potatoes salads – salads without much flavor but a ton of mayonnaise – Chicken salad sandwiches??

  • Who the fuck looked at chicken and was like you what would make this chicken a lot better? Some super gooey, flavorless shit – You know who would think that? Someone who cooks dry-ass chicken.

But I was on a mission – I’ve been trying to do this thing where I help one person a day. In all sorts of ways – get someone some food, a ride – just something to better someone else’s day.

I sincerely recommend doing it – the shit makes you feel better

So I took him to lunch. And we sat down and he told me he just got done finishing a 25 year minimum sentence for a drug offense back in the day (25 years ago to be exact) He went in when he was 18.

He told me about prison, and how it had really broken him at times, but then he found Jesus. He told me about the neighborhood before he left.

He remembers his family talking about the riots that took place here after Martin Luther King’s assassination – The whole U Street area of Washington, DC was decimated with a 65% abandonment rate.

I was surprised to hear there hadn’t always been a Japanese / Portuguese fusion restaurant around the corner from my apartment. (I used to be able to see it from my rooftop pool, but then they put another apartment complex there L)

He told me about how crack showed up in the hood – almost by happenstance.

He started to get into crack when he was 12 – about the same time I started playing Zelda.

And I COULD NOT STOP playing Zelda. My dad used to just make me stay outside, and I would get really pissed. Because I wanted to play Zelda – and there was literally nothing outside to do. One time he made me stay outside for so long I had to poop in the barn. But that has limited relevance to what I’m trying to say.

So I understood what hardship at that age looked, and felt like – and what it could do to someone at such a formative year.

The lunch was eye opening for me.

You don’t know what others have been through. What lead them to where they are? And we have a tendency to only look at others’ issues as if we were looking at them through our own eyes.

Poverty doesn’t seem hard to overcome when you’re wearing boat shoes

(Figurative boat shoes – like shoes to go on your big boat with – so like, literal boat shoes in the purest sense of the word I guess – Like you can wear boat shoes all the time and not be a douche – It’s just I think there is something about wearing boat shoes that makes it harder for that person specifically not to be a douche – But there are good ones; boat shoes, and dudes that wear boat shoes…)

 Let me say this – IF you are wearing boat shoes, or you have a boat, that does NOT make you a douche. Some of my best friends wear boat shoes. BUT if you like to wear boat shoes and you like to talk about your boat, you’ve got an uphill battle to climb if you want me to believe you are not a douche.

To me you just seem like one of the guys that starts a lot of sentences out with “I’m the type of guy…”

and let me say this – If you’re the type of that starts a lot of conversations out with “I’m the type of guy…” – Then I’m the type of guy that fuckin hates you.

You hear comments of that variety a lot – “Dude should get a job” – “He should pull himself up by his bootstraps”

Have you ever tried to pull yourself up by your bootstraps? My boots don’t have straps on them (Except for my old Velcro Converses – RIP) but like I would imagine if you’re hunched over trying to pull your bootstraps… then how do you pick yourself up? Complete tangent – I’m just confused by the concept.

But it does always seem the people that enjoy touting these comments haven’t actually had to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. And I’m sure they never had fly ass Converse Velcro strapped shoes – boat shoe wearing bitches….

I digress

I think there is a lot to learn by just interacting with people instead of making assumptions about them from afar.

The comment the law student made really stuck with me.

It was just buried in years of a deep seeded narrative – But there was so much hate behind it – So much self-righteousness – And stupid boat shoes

Do I think he’s a bad dude? No

I just think that a lot of people are told to think a certain way. They’re isolated.

 

I just wish people could start talking to one another. Drop preconceived notions of who we are. I don’t know what you’ve been through, and you surely don’t know what I’ve seen.

 

Understand a lot of people are carrying a cross – stresses that you literally can’t imagine.

A lot are carrying misinformation

Everyone is always saying that 5’6 Italian / Irish dudes are the best lovers. I don’t know if that is true –I’m 5’6.5

But what I’m saying is go make love to a 5’6 Irish/ Italian dude. Figure it out for yourself before you just go all over Reddit and talk about what passionate and sensual lovers they may be.

Maybe, dealt the same cards – different social status – different ethnicity – boat shoes ends up in the same situation

We do all share some commonalities:

We are social creatures that all just want to be loved and we all like to sing along to Chumbawumba – Tubthumping (I get knocked down, I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down)

I wish we concentrated more on what made us similar. I wish our public conversations were intellectual discussion and not fear mongering, turning one group against the other.

That “get a job” thought process needs to be phased out. I don’t have a turnkey solution, but I think it would be a step in the right direction if we got rid of California rolls.

Disclaimer – I do own a pair of boat shoes, but I rarely wear them. And I understand that making generalizations about people, boat-shoe-wearing, or otherwise is something I should not do.

@andstephenblike