|In real life, skinheads are never this hot. Just f.y.i.|
"Let's go in the other door. I think they're skinheads," I tell Celia.
We make it to the second door down just as it's closing and stand facing them. The metro's full of Friday night partygoers. One skinhead, the one with the beer, walks around two groups of people (Spaniards always travel in packs, "like antelope" according to Celia) and stands where we can see him. He glares at us. Spits on the metro floor.
"Okay. Let's walk back a bit more, shall we?"
We're about to move when two 6 foot plus Africans with dreadlocks enter the train. We stay where we are, sat comfortably, glancing towards our hateful friends. Smiling at the symmetry. "Yeah, spit now motherfuckers." They can't hear me. We're now so relaxed the skinheads exit without us noticing.
The brothers, however, get off the train when we do and are standing on the corner, lighting up when we get out onto the street. They're headed to the Dancehall Queen contest, too. "Are you Americans?", they ask. Roll call.
"New York," I say.
"Paris," Celia follows.
One immediately starts chatting her up in French. The other dips low to speak closer to my ear. He's kind of cute.
"I am trying to learn English now, because I'm a musician in Manresa. We talk to a lot of English people."
"Cool. Where are you from?"
"Senegal. Do you know Senegal?"
"Are you asking if I know that Senegal exists?"
"Yes, I think maybe you don't know Senegal."
I stop walking. "Seriously?" Celia turns around. "I know, honey," she says. "Breathe." I start walking again. He starts talking again.
"And you? Where are you from?"
"Yes, but your family?"
"Guyana. South America."
"But your grandparents?"
"But...don't you know your history?"
History? Protection is at the heart of the origins of the state. And it always comes at a price.