30 seconds in Jersey City




A man stumbles, slightly drunk, out of the Golden Cicada and walks ahead of me down Grand Street. Across the street a cardboard tube of Pringles is dropped out of the driver’s window of a car stopped at the light. Narrowly missing being hit by a turning SUV, I run across the street and grab up the tube, chip crumbs spilling across the road. As the nonplussed Asian driver rolls his window partway down, I shove the tube in saying, “Throw this in a trash can, please!”. He nods, startled, then takes it and drives away.  As I get back to the sidewalk the tipsy man says, “touché”. “Sometimes you get a chance to catch someone in the act”, I agree triumphantly. “F---ing Spic”, he says as we turn almost together to walk down Grand. “That’s really pleasant!” I fling at him as I pick up my pace to distance myself from him.  “You got a hostility problem!” he yells after me. “You’re the one with the hostility problem,” I lamely shout without turning back.   My feeling of satisfaction evaporates.