"I could have been the trench coat kid."
Let me rewind. We had been on a walk a few weeks earlier into a part of town we hadn't walked before. We didn't see anyone the entire time until we were just around the corner from our street, and about a block ahead of us was a teenage boy in a trench coat that looked like he was carrying a bag of books. There are kids that look just like this in every town, just as surely as there is the kid with the flat brimmed hat, and the really loud bass in his car.
I told Ches that if I was that boy, and there had been people walking behind me for a few blocks, I would totally think that I was being deliberately followed, and was in danger (I may or may not think this when the same car is behind me for more than five minutes on the road).
As soon as I finished saying the word danger, the kid started running. He kept running. We didn't see him stop running because we turned off on to our own street. I laughed hard, and then I started thinking about the trench coat kid.
We all know the kids in high school that were still into pokemon and anime and twenty book fantasy series. There is nothing wrong with liking anime. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a fantasy book. There is nothing wrong with feeling dapper in a trench coat(I think David Tennant proved that rather successfully). So, where did this whole persona come from?
This is how the conversation was going. And then I stopped, looked at Chesley, and said,"I could have been the trench coat kid."
I realized that it is all about enjoying imagination and fantasy and other worlds, which we all do to some extent when it comes to entertainment. The trench coat kid happens when their reality is bad enough, that they refuse to completely leave the fantasy world behind.
Sometimes the negative in their reality is something they see only because they are a teenager. But, most of the time, these kids have it so much rougher than we realize. Home is not a happy place. They have more responsibility than someone their age ever should. There is no way for us to know for sure.
The only reason I wasn't a trench coat kid is because the reality I came back into after I spent time in these other worlds was good. It grounded me.
Point, smile kindly at the kid with the trench coat. Try not to make him think that his lovely afternoon walk to return his library books has taken a sour, potentially life threatening turn.