It was normal in college for testosterone infused boys to call each other names when they drank alcohol. At parties, there reached a point in the night where someone would be yelling “faggot” from a balcony or across a living room. This always seemed to be the only word that they would know, or could remember in their drunken state. Occasionally “cock-sucker” made an appearance, but that was usually reserved for the cardinal sin of cheating at beer pong.
I enjoyed watching half-wasted girlfriends walk back and forth between fighters, trying to stop the encounters by putting their hands on their boyfriends’ beer-stained Lacoste polos with wilted collars.
I never saw any punches thrown. The fights between white prep school graduates usually ended with the two men hugging, telling each other they were “cool,” and then proclaiming that they loved each other. I don’t know much about bros, but I always felt these fights made their friendship stronger.
I was reminded of these fights on Friday morning I came home to my apartment to see the two maintenance men for my building screaming at each other like they were acting in a cop show. One of them was Hispanic and so mad that he was red in the face and drooling a little bit. The other, an African American, was maybe 300 pounds and from what I’d seen before, a slow moving individual. Today he was jumping with fury.
They were pacing back and forth in front of my building entrance so I had nothing to do but wait and watch them yell it out. I observed that they were both wearing the same thing: grey shirts printed with “nofeerentals.com” on the chest and gigantic, gold chains with Mets logo pendants. I wondered if they bought them together.
In the entire five minutes of me standing there, I never figured out what they were fighting about. They just kept calling each other “pussy” and then having reactions to being called “pussy.” There were also a lot of “I can’t believe you, man”’s and “Did you really just call me a fuckin’ pussy?”’s.
Not once were any homosexual references used. I don’t know if I can say that all New Yorkers show this sensitivity, but I’m going to go ahead and make that generalization for the residents of Alphabet City. They really were just mad about the other party being a pussy, for what reason, I don’t really need to know.