Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the old neighborhood

I was waiting for my order of crab rangoon and chicken fingers to go with the pizza that I was going to get up the street, when I overheard the guy at the counter talking about Karma only he wasn’t calling it Karma. I wasn’t trying to listen but there was just me and him other than the restaurant staff in the place.

“Once the guy next door at the bank, gave me a hundred dollars too much.”

“What guy?”

“The teller next door.” He lowered his voice and added “The black guy”. He then continued in a normal tone of voice, “Anyway, I gave it back and later that day, I hit my number for $800.”

“You what?”

“I hit my numbers, one of my numbers hit in the lottery for eight hundred bucks. I was being paid back for not taking the hundred. I could have just walked out of the bank with that extra hundred and nobody would have known but I gave it back and then I hit my number. Like God was paying me back or something. I believe if you do the right thing then good things will happen.”

Just as this part of his story was ending, three teenagers walked in. The boy was nearly shouting that South Boston Chinese was the best Chinese in South Boston. He said it at least twice. The girls he were with seemed unphased by his behavior. I was wondering who he was trying to convince and thought that if he really wanted to spread the word, then he should have walked either up the street or down the street and yelled his message in the other three Chinese food restaurants within a one block radius.

“Are you from here?” The lottery winner asked.

“Yes, I am.”

“Did you go to Southie High?”


“Yeah? Me too. Did you go to the Gavin?” (The Gavin is a middle school.)


“Well then you didn’t grow up here. And if you did, then you wouldn't be acting like you are. I don’t like it.”

The boy was quiet as the cashier motioned to me with a head nod that the brown paper bag that he was sliding across the counter between the two of them was for me.

I grew up in the neighborhood and I didn't go to the Gavin but I didn't like the kid's attitude either.

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