it’s all still there

on the way back from physio this evening i saw a (white) man with a cane get on the bus. the bus was crowded. he saw me notice him (of course i noticed), and eyed my seat like he wanted it. understandable. and i’d have given it to him, but it is a gloomy fact of my sad-sack post-operative state that i can not stand up on a moving bus without falling down either. a seat came up two rows ahead. he moved towards it but an oblivious (white, able-bodied) woman took it. a (chinese) woman in front of me saw what happened and gave him her seat, which was right in front on mine. he turned around to snarl at me. “f-ing chink,” he said. it was an unpleasant jolt. i could have said something. i should have said something. i didn’t. where do you start? how do you unravel this? was it him, me or the city?

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