I rode the bus today listening to these kids talk to each other about nothing. They were out of college and working I think yet I felt vastly older than them. They were innocent and I did not envy them. They talked about televisions.
One of the young men was blond; he was intelligent and kind and stupid about emotions. The girl expressed anxiety about a test. The tall young man, who was black and thin and seemed to be separate from the other two and wiser but also still innocent, said, “Always believe in yourself.”
He was imitating the easy support of the blond one but it was insincere. I believe he believed her anxieties were well founded not because he knew her but because he trusted her assessment of herself. Of the three of them, I respected him the most.
The girl was cagey but a fool. There was a line of pain in her voice. And she was not telling them what she really felt.
Hedge funds are starting to operate like venture capital outfits I read. Do you find that the firms you audit are doing that?
The tall one mumbled something. He didn’t want to contradict his companion.
And the girl was thinking something like, I need them—I think she was thinking about the white guy—even though they are rubbish, even though I want to be somewhere else besides here, not living, I hope, curled up somewhere, lazy and warm; this is too much for me and I do not want it.
I looked up from the print I was looking at but not reading and I saw her eyes and we looked at each other and I thought, No, that’s wrong; you will learn too late that you do want it.