At work one day, I didn’t have enough money for a “coke” and a young black man offer me a swallow from the one he was drinking. In a split second a lot went through my mind. First the tale I was told by the new kid in class when I was in the seventh grade. It was about his older brother and he told it in a bragging sort of way. The new boy said that his brother had been riding in a friend’s car on the passenger side when he saw a “n-----“ standing close to the street. His brother had leaned out as they passed the “n-----“ and caught him with his fist on the jaw. The boy said that it had broken his jaw. He went on to say in a teaching sort of way that you had to be careful when you did something like that because it might be a blue gum “n-----“. “If a blue gum “n-----“‘s blood got mixed with yours, it will kill you.” he told me. For several months after that story I went around trying to tell the difference. Also, I wondered if I should take this offered drink? I remembered everything else I had learned at school about people different from us was wrong, so I took the drink.