When I started driving cab, I did think I knew Madison. Most of the people in town also think they know the place. Oh well.
I happened to remember a guy from my college years. There were a bunch of us who used to hang out together, have lunch together at the Union, things like that. Most Jewish, and most Nicolette HS. alumni. I was kind of an odd member, I was in my 30's and from Ann Arbor.
At the time, there were a bunch of Palestinian's who hung out on State st., and at the Union. Most were older men, 30's and 40's, but a couple who were young. There was one in particular who was young and good looking, and he was dating this really good looking Jewish chick who'd attended Nicolette. All my friends knew this girl, and all had something crappy to say about her choice in boys. She was making a statement, they were making statements, and the boy she was with, well he was making a living for himself. How so?
Before I go into how so, allow me to explain that these guys were here on some sort of government program designed to feed the poor, and make the world a better place. Thank god they used up all the money in the program or wore out their welcome, or what ever they did. Like many of our current resident aliens, they weren't people you'd want living next door. Anyway.... How do I allow myself to digress like that...........
I'm walking back from the front desk at the Union (back then they sold cigarettes in addition to news papers and candy), looking down at change in my hand or a Cardinal (student paper) or something, and I almost walk right into the beautiful young Palestinian boy. He was looking down into his hands too, so he also almost walked into me. Why wasn't he looking where he was going? He was fishing a glassine envelope out of his wallet to give to one of those tough looking older men. In that glassine envelope was a white powder.
I went back to the Rathskeller, and sat back down with my friends and 5 minutes later, beautiful young man brought back every rough looking old buddy he had. Must have been 15 of those guys. They all walked past me, single file, very slowly, and looked me in the eye, fixed gaze. It was very tempting to say something like, "Koose ama.", but I decided my friends didn't need the kind of excitement it might have generated.
What was the young man's business. Does anybody need for me to spell it out?