The details are a little bit hazy. I was in a strange place, and knew fewer than half of the people in the room—and I had had a lot to drink. One of the people I didn’t know was telling a story that he found to be so funny he could barely get two words out before bursting into laughter. He was so enthralled by his story that he didn’t notice the joint in his hand burning down to his fingers as other people I didn’t know yelled, “puff, puff, give, man!”
The story he was telling went something like this: he and his friends were hanging out one night when they say these black kids. The word was italicized when he said it. The “A” was flat and long, the way Midwesterners say it. Maybe he was from the Midwest.
They started chasing the black kids, yelling out, “Hey, Tito!”
At this point he doubled over with laughter again, nearly dropping the joint as people yelled, begging him to pass the fucking joint. He obliged and his laughter continued until the joint came back around to him.
“So, like I was saying, we were like, “Hey, Tito!” And again, he lost his shit.
Staring at the floor, drunk and high and tired and annoyed, I said to no one in particular, “I am no longer comfortable with this conversation.”
And with that, everyone laughed.