15 November 2008

Young Black Man in a Burgundy Windbreaker

I was leaving the building where I work the day after the election in 2006 at about 6PM and I could see a black guy waiting at the door. You know how it is — guy standing there with his hand on the door, like he’s expecting to be buzzed in at any moment, but really he’s just waiting for someone to exit so that he can sneak in. This guy was tall, and skinny, in a burgundy red windbreaker and jeans, but it was dark out and I couldn’t see much more. So, I’m coming up from the basement, I can see him right from the bottom of the stairs, and, if he had any business in the building, by the time I got to the top he should have been buzzed in. Now I figure I’m going to have to be an ass-hole, not let him in, and insist that he try the intercom again. Things like this can get ugly, because the first thing a guy like that will say is: “You’d let me in if I was white!” There’s no answer for that. It’s half true, but you’d also let him in if he were dressed nicer, or if he were a woman, or if he had gray hair — you know, it’s a judgment call and you base it on the fact that most 20-something black guys probably don’t belong in your building ...

So, I figure I’ll go up and open the door real slow and careful and ask who he’s there to see, and if he can answer, then I might just let him by. But when I push the door just a bit, this guy pulls it wide and tries to slip by me real quick. I was about to object, when I notice he has really big ears, and I say “I think I recognize you!”

“I guess you do!” Caught dead-to-rights trying to sneak past me, Barack Obama stops, turns around and shakes my hand.

“You had a good night last night, didn’t you?”

“I guess, but let’s see what we can do with it.” Then he got in the elevator and headed up to the offices of political consultant David Axelrod.

1 comment:

Nick said...

Well played, Sir.