Just now coming home from the Boogie-down-Bronx, on the 6 – I was sitting amidst a group of teenagers who had apparently just come from some type of formalized dance-off activity, as they kept commenting about how they “smoked ‘im” and replayed the sit-down versions of some of the nice moves they saw involving sneakers and swift leg movements and humor, joking about music selections and giving lots of honors to “that Connecticut shit” (whatever that means).
For those of you who haven’t experienced the 6 train in the Bronx, let me break down the dynamics: it’s a very communal ride. Any and everyone can easily slip in and out of conversation with other passengers whether or not there is any relation. Case in point, after enough time passed, I gave up pretending not to be entertained by the conversation these teens were having as I chomped on my Hershey’s bar with almonds (they were all out of symphony). One of the more animated of the bunch pulled out a snack from his pocket, chewed it for a couple of seconds, then walked to the opening subway car door to spit this snack inbetween the train and the platform (that dangerous zone – pointy-toed shoe wearers beware!)
The snack, it turns out, was chocolate flavored gum. According to the look of putrid disgust on the faces of these youngsters, it is pretty damn gross. I won’t be trying it. The farthest chewy-chocolatey goodness I’ll be indulging in is a tootsie-roll. They’ve been up there on my candy hierarchy since the 80s.
Anyway, shorty must’ve peeped my look of confusion after witnessing him spit out something brown. He shows me the packaging, telling me “it’s chocolate gum”. He points to my Hershey’s bar and says “it’s kinda like that, but then the after taste (ewww face)”!
We exchanged a few more words and smiles and laughter. Even a raised eyebrow at some inappropriate behavior at the other end of the car. We all got of at 125th street. No goodbyes necessary – the embrace is in spirit form. The 6.