Best of, memoir, memories, teenage years, Uncategorized, youth

Bootboys

The other day, I mentioned a guy that I had suspected was skinhead – but had no real proof other than his appearance. That memory is fuzzy, as I said, so maybe I did have more to base that assumption on that I just forgot…

But regardless, it prompted another very clear memory for me. How ’bout I tell you about it? Okay? Okay. 🙂

Picture it: Stockholm at night. It was Spring, I think… regardless it was a mild evening warranting no more than a light jacket. I got off the train at Ropsten; as I did countless times. Ropsten was the end of the red line that took me to the busses I needed to get all the way home on the suburb island of Lidingö.

It was late enough that the bus run times had slowed down and spaced out significantly, though the train continued to arrive every 10 minutes. I stood out in front of the bus stop for number 201, the one that would take me within a ten minute walk to my house.

The next train saw a flood of obvious skinheads getting off and coming down by the busses. It was a little disconcerting, but I didn’t react, deciding to mind my own business per usual.

However; as further trains arrived, literally whole trains full of skinheads continued to get off and gather en masse around the bus stops. Again, I tried not to let my discomfort at the situation show on my face. I tend to have a Resting Bitch Face anyway, so it wasn’t all that difficult. But I was uncomfortable, and suffice it to say – honestly – I was glad I appeared Swedish/Germanic European at that very moment. (I often got mistaken for either Swedish or Dutch.)

I was silently counting the minutes until my bus would arrive when one of the apparent neo-Nazi boys approached me. He was wearing a military style beret atop his nearly non-existent blond hair, as well as a military style jacket and Doc Martens. He fit in well with the appearance of his mates.

He approached me and enquired of me in Swedish which busses went to Lidingö Centrum – the town centre – I was somewhat relieved and I thought to myself I was thankful he assumed I was Swedish.

I responded back in Swedish that they all did – trying not to appear uncomfortable at his approach, though I’m not sure I hid it all that well. I suppose, however; given that Swedes tend to not wish to talk to strangers unless absolutely necessary any discomfort of mine would not have seemed out of place to him.

He thanked me and turned back to his friends.

Busses slowly arrived and the mass of skinheads slowly dissipated as they filed in. My bus as well got filled up with these bootboys, but they got off at the first stop – which was the centrum – and I was glad I had further to travel.

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