I got cut off this morning.

He/she was a smoker.

No signal, just a hand out the window to flick their cigarette.

So I came up with a theory. It's been building in my mind for a while.

Smokers don't give a shit about anyone but themselves.

They pride themselves in those "fuck you" smiles on the news when they're asked about the smoking ban in bars.

Smokers are complete assholes.

Smokers are the ones that call blacks "niggers" and then laugh.

I use to laugh at that.

But I learned.

When we first moved to D.C., my parents enrolled me in the wrong school.

Instead of being a 4th grader in Virginia, I was going to be a 4th grader in northeast D.C. I was the only non-black kid. I was also one of the smallest. I tended to get beat on a lot. I learned to make myself smaller and less noticeable. I hid behind cars. I made few friends.

Eventually the mistake was resolved.

My new school was predominantly white and catholic. I still got beat on because I was small. I didn't fight back because I didn't want to be suspended. My parents would be very angry if i was suspended, or so I believed. (Then again, I believed that God was a benevolent being. Catholicism tried to destroy that belief. But that's another story.) I took the beatings in silence. High school was the much the same, white and catholic. They were sayings like "mighty white of you" and "hey man, be white." I had no idea what those sayings meant. I'm half mexican, and my skin color reflects my heritage. I never really thought about it until somebody called me a spic. I thought, no, I'm a chicano, not a spic.

I laughed at all the mexican jokes, but my mother grew very upset when I repeated them to her.

People on occasion will remark about "those fucking mexicans." Friends will look at me and wait for a reaction. There is none, only an internal shrug. Maybe they're drunk, maybe they're angry, maybe they're stupid, maybe they're a smoker. I use to laugh at slurs. I'm still stupid because I laugh at other things that shouldn't be laughed at. I'm also stupid for many other reasons. But I don't smoke.

My father smoked until the doctors told him that it had a negative effect on my brother's asthma. He quit cold turkey and never smoked again. He cares greatly about us. Mary is a smoker and she's one of the sweetest people I know. Casey smokes on occasion and she's pretty damn cool. Ann smokes but I love her just the same.

There seems to be pretty big holes in my theory. I was sure I was close.