As I was walking to school this morning, a middle-aged woman stopped me to ask something in a quiet mumble.
"I'm sorry?" I said, not understanding.
"Did you see the hair of that guy in front of you?" she repeated.
"Um, no," I replied, still a bit confused, squinting at the Asian guy about fifteen feet ahead of me.
"It's all shaved on the sides," she told me, "and long in back."
"Oh," I said, "that's nice." Awkward pause.
"But he's Asian, so he's an asshole," she said, almost conversationally. "They're all assholes. But you know that--you live here!"
I didn't know that, actually, but I decided it wasn't best to argue, not there, not on the street, and, besides, I was late for a meeting with a very kind Asian who had agreed to help me with a class project. I eased the social awkwardness by giggling nervously and walking away slowly, with the woman shouting at my back, three or four more times:
"They're all assholes! You know that--you live here!"
I love this town.