A “Karen” and a “Chuck” in Real Time
(Racial Animus Thrown in Free)
The two friends hadn’t done anything together since before COVID. After three years of generally staying at home, they decided it was high time they chanced a gentle afternoon outing. Perhaps they could even leave their masks behind, the daring creatures! They were lucky to have one of the few good days left of summer 2023 for a ferry trip to an art installation, a light lunch, and catching up on what had happened in their lives since March 2020.
When a 70-year old and an 80-year old catch up, the conversation isn’t all that compelling. One had a new iPhone she didn’t know how to use yet, and the other was planning a cortisone shot for her knee pain. They then moved on to more engaging topics, such as their cats’ health, fishy food preferences, and play habits.
Gosh, it was good to have the band back together again!
They ferried to another part of the city, soaking in the sun and salty air and making friends with other passengers. They explored a poignant, personal, larger-than-life installation of an immigrant’s journey and sat down to view a video detailing the social and commercial history of the ground where they sat.
Now, we don’t have to agree on everything, do we?
Surely, however, we can agree that if you’re seated in a small area where a video is playing, your purpose there is to watch the video. You either watch the video, or you allow others who are watching the video to do so in peace. Maybe it’s an age thing, but a couple seated just a few feet from us were having an animated conversation, punching at their cell phones, and consulting one another. Perhaps they did not know better.
“Hmm, they’re kind of loud,” whispered Old Lady One to Old Lady Two.
“Yeah, the video isn’t that loud to begin with,” said Old Lady Two to Old Lady One. “If they keep it up, we’re going to have to say something.”
They kept it up.