A black kid in a blue Hollister hoodie rode the train across from me this morning.

I looked at him .  A confident but serious look was on his face as scrolled through music was on his iPod.  I wondered if he could feel my eyes on him or not?

He could.  He looked up at me.  

Instead of looking away, I raised my chin in a nod and mouthed the words “nice hoodie.”

He gave me a nod back, then looked down, smoothed the front of his hoodie, adjusted his headphones neatly on his head stood very tall and looked back at me.

So I took my camera phone out of my purse and took a photo of him, from my seated position across the train car. 

We never actually spoke.  And we both got off at the next stop.

I transferred to my next train and in a few minutes spotted another kid.  This time in a red hoodie.  Hood-up.  He was with a few friends.  His pants were as low as they could be and still walk.

They got on laughing and chatting. Squeezing in next to the doors.  I looked at him and said, “Do you mind if I take a photo?  Of the hoodie?”  He stopped and looked at his friends, then he said, “You can have the picture.. if I can have your phone number.”

He smiled.  His friends said, I think she wants you!  They were all of … eighteen years old.  I replied to his friends, “That’s cute.  You guys are jovial.  Very cute.”

His friends laughed and turned their attention to 3 girls adjacent to us.  Loudly injecting sexual innuendo into the conversation the girls  were having, in hopes of gaining their attention.

Turning back to the kid in the red hoodie I said, “So I want your photo for a blog post about that shooting in Florida.  Not just for fun.”


I looked at him.  He really didn’t know.  I explained about the Million Hoodie movement to call for justice for Trayvon.  He looked very surprised.  ”You went to this rally?” he asked incredulously, looking at my iPhone photos.  Yeah.  For us.  For kids like you too.  

(Meanwhile his friends succeeded in gaining the negative attention they’d sought from the girls.  One of whom told the loudest kid to suck a you know what).  ”Yo watch ya mouth. I don’t get down like that!”  The loudest (and slightly embarrassed) kid said.  

They turned to me and the kid in the red hoodie as I was taking his photo.  ”That story you told is really wrong,” said the loudest kid, shaking his head.   “That guy.. should be arrested.”   I nodded.  Sad for the world that wanted to eradicate them.  ”Yeah, we’re all pressing for justice.  You can too, now that you know.”

At that moment, the girls exited the train and the loudest kid turned away from me to yell “Bye bitch” to the girl that, earlier, had told him where to go.

His friends laughed.  

I looked at them, expressionless and said “Really?”

“You didn’t hear how she insulted me!”  The loudest kid said.  I told him they left the girls little choice with the loud incessant sexual comments they were yelling in their direction.  

“I’m sorry miss.  I’m sorry.  I apologize.  I know you’re a lady.  I shouldn’t have yelled that to her.”

“It’s all good,” I said.  Just please, google Trayvon later.. and try to be nicer.”

Everyone.  Try to be nicer.