White Men in Suits

When I got outside today there were two white men in suits standing on my neighbor’s stoop.

The one who seemed to be the leader, a short man with glasses and dark hair that was slicked back and probably would be slightly curly in its natural form. He had a face that looked like a lot of faces I’d seen before, so much that I thought there must be a name for someone with that look, or that he must look like someone whose name I knew, but I couldn’t think of the name. His suit was dark and looked expensive.

The second one was much bigger, and didn’t have his jacket on, but his pants, shoes, shirt, and tie looked expensive enough that he was clearly a guy with a suit despite not having the full suit. He moved around more and seemed to look to the short guy for the lead.

The two of them were talking to my neighbor, a black lady who’s lived in the neighborhood for a while, and who owns the building, I think. There are more and more white people in the neighborhood — I’m one — but white men of that type still stand out. I’m sure I’ve seen white people in suits before in the neighborhood, but the last time I clearly remember one was at the beginning of 2013 when a detective was asking questions about a shooting.

I don’t know what the pair was up to. There’s something ominous about people who looked like that pair, something that represents a backing of power that will be hard to oppose. If these two fellows walked into any workplace, an early thought for a lot of people would be “someone’s going to get fired.”

But I don’t know if they actually had any power, or if they just wanted to represent that look, and they could pull it off.

I went to get a bagel, and when I came back they were milling around on the sidewalk.


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