1001 Black Men–#529


Saw this guy outside the Safeway on Fruitvale near MacArthur. I drop in there from time to time to purchase organic grapefruit soda. My fabulous partner prefers Safeway Organics brand to some of the less corporate versions of the same thing. I was intruigued by this guy’s slight under bite, his seemingly hairless chin, and his slimness. He could have been anywhere between 18 and 30, and the look in his eyes suggested a lot more life experience than the average college-age kid, but the rest of him could have easily fit in at a high school. He wore a t-shirt that masqueraded his slight figure a little bit, but I could still tell he was thin for his height. I always wonder what it’s like to be a man who is shorter or thinner or in some other way less physically substantial than most. Do you get taken less seriously? Do you get bullied more? Do you have bad flashbacks from gym class dodgeball games? I’ve read that tall men make more money, run more Fortune 500 companies and are all-around more successful in virtually every aspect of life. Is that also true of thicker, more muscular guys? Do they generally have better outcomes (in some areas) than the skinny non-muscular types? If so, then what are the benefits of being less physically commanding or imposing? There must be some. Are such guys more compassionate or sympathetic to outsiders? Do they live longer? Have less accidents? Every type of physical difference has its benefits. It’s just that sometimes it takes a while to figure out what those benefits might be.

Ajuan Mance

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