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Dear Stranger Whose Business Suit-clad Rear I . . . Bumped:

Remember me? I’m the ‘little black girl’ who ‘smacked your butt’ on the Red Line headed towards Alewife. I swear it was an accident.

We must have been crossing the salt and pepper bridge because I remember the train car being well lit. I recall the echo of train wheels rolling up and over and across, Charles River glinting below. It wasn’t a packed car, but it also wasn’t empty, so probably other passengers witnessed my transgression.

Business Suit Dude: you had leaned over to fuss with the bag at your feet when the train swayed and my arm . . . swayed. There was contact: your tush, my hand. I remember thinking a muzzy uh-oh! when I realized I was too late to resist the motion.

You shot up, squeaking in surprise. Or maybe it was a gasp. (I assure you, the sound you produced maybe wasn’t was very manly.) However it’s best described, your response contained an implicit ‘oh!’, which, if you were a 80’s-raised black woman like myself, may have been followed with an outraged ‘you didn’t just do that!’ But you were a white dude, probably late 30s, early 40s, and, judging by your shocked expression, this was not an interaction you’d ever envisioned.

You gaped. I shrugged one shoulder and, as an afterthought, added a disarming, half-sorry smile.

My bad. I probably should have been less amused?

In any event, dear Business Suit, you have my 78% sincere apology. I hope you don’t mind that I’ve re-told this story many dozens of times. Don’t worry, you’re always the victim.

Statues in American Indian museum

‘We send reproach for your regrettable behavior.’