1001 Black Men #811


Farmer Joe’s Market, Fruitvale Ave., Oakland, CA

I like grocery shopping after work. I like being part of a group of people all of whom have the same goal, to pick something up for dinner that won’t make our day too much longer than it already has been. I enjoy looking at everyone’s outfits and trying to figure out what they do for a living. This guy had me stumped. I think his hat and his jacket were part of a uniform; the way they matched was just too perfect. On the other hand, why would the uniform require a matching hat and jacket, but no matching shirt. He was wearing a generic type of rugby shirt that appeared to have no relationship whatsoever to the rest of his outfit. I was so tempted to go up to him, explain my project, and ask about what he was wearing. I’ve done it before, after all. But on the evening I encountered this guy, I was just too tired to engage with a stranger. It had been an exhausting day of meetings, and I simply didn’t have the energy to break out of my end-of-day bubble and talk to a stranger.

Ajuan Mance

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