“I’m really just looking for someone I can build with.” He said next to me on the train. Half an hour ago, we were complete strangers, and I was hoping maybe an hour from now we can go right back to that.
He boarded the packed train going to the city my parents live. I left my car their for repairs a couple of weeks ago, which isn’t information that ought to interest you. I am highly aware you are not here to listen to my story on car repairs.
“You mind if I sit here?” He asked.
My system for speaking to people on trains is quite simple. I don’t unless you’re an elderly black woman. I always have time to make conversations with elderly black women. Listen to me – they have the answer for everything. It is to your advantage to sit your ass down and snap peas with them while they talk about whatever the hell they want to talk about. It is your universal duty to just listen.
In 2018, I’m open to being entirely wrong, but he appeared to being neither elderly, nor a woman. Something taller than six feet and ashy around the elbows, he took the seat without waiting for me to even ignore him properly, just like ashy people do.
He told me his name was Kris.
I removed my earbud to act like I didn’t hear him talking to me and I needed him to repeat himself.
The gospel truth is that I wasn’t listening to music to begin with. What I did is called a ‘power move’. I let him know without explaining that I am not listening to him, and when that ear bud goes back in, regardless if I’m listening to Tchaikovsky, death metal, or the sounds of my own precious thoughts, I will not be partaking in a conversation with him.
I shared a name with him. Perhaps it was mine, and maybe it wasn’t. Kris will not know.
Before I could place my earbud back in, he apologized for smelling like weed. I did not care that he smelled like weed, which he absolutely did. I did care that he was cornering me into a conversation.
He asked me questions that I usually only have to answer on a FAFSA. If I go to school and where, what I study, how many credit hours am I taking, He asked me about work, what I aspired to do. After long enough, I gave up the idea that I’d just enjoy a quiet ride to my parents home.
That’s when he got me.
“How have the guys been here?” Kris asked.
Gay dudes are slick. Gay nigga’s are twice as slick as the average gay dude. You gotta be careful. One minute you’re having a harmless conversation, the next minute you’re fake adding his number so he can text you ‘wyd’ every half hour for two days straight, and then somehow you find yourself sucking musty dick in an apartment with no furniture.
I inspected him closely. I’m not sure where this conversation is going. I thought I was just sitting in this seat quietly minding my business, I guess I really underestimate how visibly gay I present in everyday life.
“I don’t get involved much.” I said casually laughing off the conversation and suggesting in both tone and delivery that yes, bitch, you clocked me, and we should discuss anything else.
He went on about his type. I didn’t ask. He fucked some guy in some frat. Didn’t ask about that either. He asked me about my type.
“I’m just focused on developing myself.” I said.
Yes, I laughed to myself when I said it. Single bitches love working on their spiritual lives or being on some ‘I’m just focusing on me right now’ bullshit as if I wouldn’t change my entire tone in Alfred Enoch walked on this train and confessed an undeniable attraction and wanted to get to know me better.
But you sir, aren’t Alfred Enoch. You are some invasive train-stranger who has inserted himself into my space and business when I didn’t invite you to either of those things.
Go find someone you can build with, you wanna build so bad. Go bother an engineer or architect, construction worker, or a box of Lego’s – I don’t care.