New Harlem

New Harlem

“Niggas got PTSD,” my best friend says to me through my earbuds in a tone that is somewhat facetious but still pretty blunt. She has just finished recounting a fight she’d witnessed at the gym earlier in the day between two personal trainers that ended with one whipping out a machete. 

“Can you believe that shit?” she asks, her voice inflecting as if she, herself, is having a hard time believing that shit. I assume her question is rhetorical, but I respond anyway, “Abso- fucking- lutely.” 

In my experience a simple difference of opinion between two members of the lesser sex almost always manifested into a dick-measuring contest where someone inevitably got hurt. That said, I am not so much surprised by the outcome of the altercation as I am intrigued by my friend’s analysis of it. 

“Niggas got PTSD.” 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a pathology often applied to victims of some physical or psychological trauma: former military service members, survivors of violent crimes, etcetera, etcetera. Very rarely is the term used to describe the reality of being alive and aware in pre-apocalyptic America. Granted, the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency has left even the bravest of Americans scared shitless and, as we all know, fear often provokes irrational and unpredictable behavior. The natural human response to fear is to fight or to flee and, in this instance, with no escape from their inflated male egos, these men decide to fight to the death. Still, I tell myself, perhaps my friend is being a little dramatic.
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