“Navigation” is an all too familiar story of the minority situation in cities undergoing gentrification, and it holds no punches. The main characters in this story are the narrator and “whiteboy,” and the details in the story are quite important: there is a stark contrast between the experiences and opportunities of “whiteboy” and the narrator, and, unfortunately, this is completely normal.
One thing that triggered me was how “whiteboy” claimed he was in the real Houston when the condo (!!!) he was living in was only recently built. Yes, say that to the locals who were actually there when the building was still some mattress center. Please tell me how that could even be the real Houston, or the real anything at all.
PS: The other stories in Bryan Washington’s collection, Lot, have the same feel to them as well. (I read a few of them.) If you’re interested in hearing our narrator’s voice and seeing his perspective, I highly suggest giving Lot a read.