• African-American male of high-school age, dressed in crisp sportswear and straddling a low-rider bike

• White college boy, probably about 22

Location: El Yu Taco Truck at bus stop at Normandie & West Adams

Topics covered: The desirability of Coca-Cola, condiment-related manners, courtesy in food-handling, the possibility of racism.

[College Boy orders tacos and then, surprised at how little they cost, orders a Coke as well.]

Kid on Bike: Get me a Coke, too. [Pause.] I'll take a Coke.

[Confused, College Boy glances at Kid on Bike and then looks away.]

Kid on Bike: I said, “I'll take a Coke.”

College Boy: I'm not getting you a Coke.

[Kid on Bike stares at College Kid.]

College Boy: They're just a dollar.

Kid on Bike: They're so cheap, get me one.

[College Boy laughs, awkwardly, and spoons salsa into plastic cups. A moment passes.]

Kid on Bike: Still waiting on that Coke.

[College Boy fusses with condiments.]

Kid on Bike: Get me a napkin. [A moment passes. College Boy fumbles with onions and limes.] Man, you got a listening problem. I'm not just talking to hear myself–now, shit, look at that! You just touched all of them limes!

College Boy: I didn't touch any–

Kid on Bike: With your bare hands, you touched 18 limes!

College Boy: I touched two.

Kid on Bike: With your bare hands! Take that one and that one–

[College Boy's order is up. He gathers his food, and heads to the busstop. He takes no limes but shakes his hear wearily.]

Kid on Bike: I ain't got my Coke, yet! [Laughs. Turns to his friend, also on a bike, who has been silent this whole time.] Just touching limes like they like it!

College Boy: I didn't touch any goddamn limes!

Kid on Bike: [Laughs.] You know what he's thinking?

Kid on Bike's Friend: What?

Kid on Bike: “Fuckin niggers.”

College Boy: No, it's “fuckin' assholes!”

[Kid on Bike and his friend wheel out onto Normandie, circling toward the bus stop, but College Boy's bus pulls up before whatever might happen next can shape itself.]

LA Weekly