So I was on the N-Judah the other day, diddling about with the iPod, doing my best to not bother anyone, and it seemed that nobody was trying to bother me.
An altercation of sorts erupted a few rows down, and I noticed one guy walking over to another, talking very seriously. I couldn't tell whether he was upset or if they knew each other, as I was still trying to do my very best to stay out of it. As I was sitting there musing over how Americans on public transit in large cities have a terrible propensity to "stay out of it" (thereby contributing to people growing ever-farther apart, etc.,) I then noticed a woman sort of telling the first guy off. The first guy grew more and more upset, until she got off at her stop, at which point he proclaimed, "Yeah, well she's FAT anyway!"
She seemed to have no extra weight on her whatsoever, but I guess that's a good generic put-down for a woman.
This is when I started paying more attention. It was clear that the first and second guys didn't know each other. Guy #1 strikes up a conversation, talking about "respect" and about how "he speaks his mind and it gets him in trouble sometimes, knowwhatI'msayin'."
THEN, he starts going off about his time in the joint, grinning from ear to ear. Guy #2 starts commiserating. Soon, they're both comparing and contrasting Santa Rita and San Quentin (apparently, Santa Rita is a major dump compared to San Quentin.) They talk about time in the yard, the food, the wake-up schedule...I actually heard the term "OG" used in context.
When I reached my stop I looked at the guy next to me and simply said, "Oh my God."
He laughed and shook his head in disbelief.
Then we both walked our separate ways, into the night.