28 May 2006

A Black man and two Latinos walk into a Chinese carryout....

A true story:

On my way back to a friend's apartment in Hyattsville and hungry, I stop in the Chinese carry out around the corner and order shrimp lo mein. As I'm waiting for the order, two Latinos (Mexican perhaps, or more likely Colombian), one in his twenties, the other forty-something walk in. The younger one is carrying a guitar, and both look a little tired and have possibly/probably had a few drinks. The guys order. I can tell from the repartee that they have been here before, and the older guy is playfully flirting, in English, with the Taiwanese woman taking the orders. From a previous exchange between herself and another Latino who ordered in mangled Spanglish, I believe she understands some Spanish, but doesn't speak it (she'd called over one of the male cooks to translate for her with the first guy).

As the woman puts an order on the counter and motions to me that it's mine, the older Latino takes the guitar from the younger guy and begins to play. He'd been facing away from me all this time, and it's only now that I see that he's wearing a Beatles t-shirt as he begins to sing:

Close your eyes and I'll kiss you,
Tomorrow I'll miss you;
Remember I'll always be true.

I know this song, I think, and so I sing along....

And then while I'm away,
I'll write home ev'ry day,
And I'll send all my loving to you.

.....and we laugh and shake hands. I wish all a good night, and head to my friend's apartment to eat.

An African-American and a Colombian serenading a Taiwanese woman with a forty-year old song by four guys from England, in a suburb of the Nation's Capital on Memorial Day/Black Gay Pride Weekend: Welcome to The United States of America, 2006


blue girl said...

That's a great story, ReggieH.

Glad you decided to sing! Cuz...you know...if you wouldn't have -- well, you wouldn't have had that great experience.

And this great story.


Chuck said...

Found your blog via Lance, and you've described in just a few paragraphs why I love living in Hyattsville and why I'm bummed I'll be moving in a few weeks.

ReggieH said...

It was just such an odd and amazing experience. I'd walked by these guys on the way to the restaurant and wondered about the guitar, then a few minutes later they come in. It was VERY cool (and I was glad I knew the lyrics!:)

Lynn S said...

That's great. I love moments like that. Out where I live there are too few.

I found you via Byzantium's Shores.

Anonymous said...

There are so many great things about this country. Thanks for sharing one of them.

cmb, New Mexico