This morning I pulled into the gas station near my house, playing Nat King Cole's Christmas Album on my car stereo. It was just loud enough so people nearby could hear it as I opened my door. As I swiped my card, the man at the pump next to me called my name.
"Yo Dave. Yo Dave, whattup son!"
It turned out to be a friend of mine from the neighborhood (or in this instance, shall I say from "the hood"). His name was Terrence, and I knew him from playing basketball at the park. Most of the time he was there doing other things, like smoking weed, or playing dice, but he was a regular. Terrence, or T as we call him, is one of the more thuggish characters we have around my neck of the woods.
Normally I would have no association with someone like him (cause I'm a snob), but I've known him since we were kids.
"T, whattup man?"
"Chillin. Bout to go to work n' shit. What you listenin' to?"
At this point I was feeling a little bit embarassed about my current music selection. Now all my boys at the park were going to know about my soft cheery side. Terrence always did love to crack on people. Goodbye street cred (the little bit I do have).
"Just a little bit of Nat King Cole man. You know, for the holidays."
"Awwwwww snap son. Nat King Cole is my shit! You got any Bing Crosby up in there too?"
I was sure he was being sarcastic. I did not appreciate him making fun at all. I think I was more offended at him making fun of Nat King Cole than of me. After all, Nat King Cole is the fucking man.
"Shut up T. I really don't feel like getting shit about this right now. You can get on me later."
"Nah man, I ain't gettin' on you. I'm serious! I fucking love some Nat King right about now!"
He reached into his glove compartment, and to my amazement, pulled out his copies of Nat King Cole's and Bing Crosby's Christmas albums. I stood there in shock.
"See, I wasn't bullshittin' man. I normally don't tell people this shit though, so you know..."
"Nah T, it's all good. I am so surprised though."
"So what, a ni**a like me can't be into Christmas? I love cider, and it's a Wonderful life, and all that white people shit. It's cause of my momma, nah mean?"
"Yeah, I know what you mean. Well, enjoy the holidays T. I gotta get to work."
"Aight my dude. Merry Christmas and shit (he said as he laughed)."
So apparently, thugs can feel Christmas spirit too. Never judge a book by it's cover boys and girls.