Street Dumb

“He will die from the sincerest of greetings to the wrongest of people.” Reb, on Aydin

I remember a summer during college, when a group of us were up in NoVa, heading into DC. We stopped at a McDonald’s, where I gave a nod and a “hello” to a boy leaving the bathroom. When we went to go back to our cars, that boy and several of his (older and bigger) friends were approaching us. The one guy said, “Is this him?” pointing at me. The younger boy nodded. He kept approaching me saying, “What’s your problem?” I looked at him confused, then over at the boy. I said, “I just said hi to him.” He responded, “That’s now what I heard.” We kept moving to our cars, and they kept approaching. By the time we are all at our car doors, they right up on us. They had spread out to match up with each of the four of us on different sides of two cars. The group was talking to us, but we were not responding. One of my friends finally said, “He said he just said hi.” At which point the guy closest to him swung at him. It was enough of a connection that everyone stopped, and somehow we all made eye contact in a fraction of second to give a “now” signal and we all opened our doors, jumped in, shut them, and locked them. The guys backed off after punching a couple of car windows and off we went.

Not exactly street smart on my part.

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