[Random] Thoughts,  Black[ness]

a 1.5 hour conversation with a random Nigirian

…soooo, i just had a 1.5 hour conversation with a random Nigirian guy at Starbucks and i need to let off some steam.

so, as you’d predict, i met random Nigirian guy completely randomly when i got off a train one night after work and he came chasing after me to strike up a conversation. me being the overly nice person that i am who finds it hard to say “i’m tired, go away.” ended up engaged in a short conversation with him.  he seemed like a nice enough guy and i couldn’t help but feel for his situation of being the sole non-Japanese person at his workplace and not having anyone to talk to because he can’t speak Japanese. when he asked to keep in touch after i finally got up the nerve to tell him i had to go i obliged, although i knew well enough by now not to give him my phone number like he’d ask for. instead i gave him my email address and sped off, weary that he was looking for something that i had no desire to give.

days go by but not a single one without a message from him. i replied to them all because *shrugs* whatever. it’s email. but of course he wanted to meetup again. having had past negative experiences with meeting random people from Africa, a part of me didn’t want to miss the chance to potentially, finally NOT have one, so i agreed to meet him at a cafe.

fast forward to tomorrow, the night before our meetup. he messages me saying that he wanted to get to know me more before the meetup, to which i’m like ??? because wasn’t that the point of the meetup itself? but whatever, i said “okay?” to which he asked random questions that oh so predictably ended up going being about my love life. to which i respond by saying that i’m point blank telling him that he’d have to look elsewhere if he wanted a girlfriend.

“be closer to you”– hahahaha. way to assume that i would even want you to be “closer” to me. in any sense of the word. but fine, you’re not a native English speaker and perhaps that means something different where you’re from.

so i let it pass with a passive-aggressive “:p” and blanket statement that he would never read as me screaming “MALE ENTITLEMENT”.

i’ve been down this road enough times to know that it’s better for me to be paranoid, assume unspoken motives behind such questions and respond accordingly, preemptively before his assumption that he has any sort of a chance with me developed any further.

but also predictably, the directness of my response don’t phase him one bit.

except no he didn’t and still doesn’t. sigh.

i almost decided to call off today’s meetup, but the afforementioned part of me wanted to give the guy a chance. another part of me simply wanted to not assume the worst about men in general. both won out and we ended up meeting today.

the reason why i want to let off steam now isn’t because anything particularly bad happened; not because the guy turned out to be some horrible person who justified all of my paranoia. he turned out to be a nice guy and all, but of course last night’s topic came up again along with his opinion on the situation of black people in America– a place that he has not once been to, mind you– and uh.

no matter how nice he otherwise is as a person, i really, really wanted to wring his neck like Homer does Bart several times during the course of our conversation just to make him shut the fuck up and wipe that smug “oh, i’m wrong am i? explain how. come on, teach me a thing.” tone out of his voice.

when faced with that that smug “i’m wrong? prove it.” mentality offline regarding something that i personally feel to be a hot topic, i generally do one of two things: suddenly become quiet, withdrawn and evasive to avoid conflict that i don’t feel like dealing with OR i struggle to keep my cool while going head-to-head with them, challenging them and their beliefs. today was the former and so now i’m left with all this pint up WHINGEING because UGHHH.

how someone can be so smug, so confident and assertive in his belief that everyone falls in love, everyone wants marriage, everyone wants children who will take care of them in their old age because that’s “how nature works” when sitting across from someone who obviously disagrees with their essentalist view of what human life is so…. the fuck? and yet this kind of thing happens all the time.

and because it happens all the time, while i’m still miffed about it, i can accept it as being a Thing that happens for various reasons that i’m very much aware of.

however, how someone can be so smug, so confident and assertive in his belief  about life in America– particular in regards to life in America for black people– when sitting across from someone who not only obviously disagrees with their ignorance but who is an actual, living and breathing black person who has lived that life that he can only speak about hyperthetically, stereotypically is so… the fucking hell???

i could chalk all of this up to the usual culprits: compulsory heterosexuality, amatonormativity, misogyny, ignorance, etc. but that doesn’t leave me any less frustrated.

we parted ways on friendly terms with him continuing his attempts at flattery / (flirting?), promising to invite me over for Nigerian food sometime, but yeah. otherwise nice person or not, i think i’ll have take an indefinite raincheck on that. he really is dreaming if he thinks i’d ever even set foot in his apartment or any other non-public space with him, alone or otherwise. i may be paranoid, but such paranoia has saved my life before and it sure as hell ain’t failing me now.

YouTuber and Blogger, Vesper is an American expat currently living in Japan.

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