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Another Tuesday Night

Another Tuesday Night

Devlin Byrne

another-tuesday-night.jpg

“Never Let Me Down” plays quietly in the background as I watch Terrance put his cigarette out on his arm only to relight it and put it out on his arm again. I can’t say why Terrance is doing this, but it seems very important for some reason. I lose my train of thought and my eyes drift to the National Geographic lying on the floor of Terrance’s room. I am half propped up on his bed. Terrance is sitting in front of the computer, waiting for the North American White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan page to finish loading. I’m not sure why he wants to see the website, because I am pretty sure he is not a racist. I could ask him why, but I don’t feel up to it at the moment. I turn my attention back to the National Geographic. The cover story is about Emperor Penguins, and how they really aren’t that great of parents. I know because I have read the article already. The Emperor Penguins get a lot of praise for being so dutiful to their young, but the truth is that after that first year they never really interact with their chicks ever again. I suppose they only did the article because that March of the Penguins movie was so popular. 

I sigh and turn my head back to Terrance. He is now scrolling through the KKK web site, a very studious look on his face. I have three nagging questions at this point: 1. Is this all we are going to do? Because I would be up for something else, but if this is it I’m cool with that too, I just want to know what my options are. 2. Why was Terrance burning himself? 3. Why is he looking up white power literature?

I finally muster up the strength to ask one of these questions, “Terrance, is there a reason you were burning your arm?” For some reason, this feels like the easier question to ask. Absorbed in reading the web site, Terrance skips a beat before turning to look at me. 

I finally muster up the strength to ask one of these questions, “Terrance, is there a reason you were burning your arm?” For some reason, this feels like the easier question to ask. Absorbed in reading the web site, Terrance skips a beat before turning to look at me. 

“I’m sorry, what?” I decide to go for a different question.  

“Why are you looking at white power literature?” 

“Oh, I’m doing a report for my ethics class surrounding the KKK and the First Amendment.” 

“Oh, so you’re not racist?” 

“I’m half Jewish.” He says this like it’s an answer to my question, but I don’t see how it is. I decide to let the issue drop.  

“Is this all we are going to do? I mean tonight. Is this it?” 

“Why, do you want to do something else?” 

“Well, no, not really. I would just like to know what my options are.” There is a long silence in which Terrance turns to his computer, resuming his research. “Never Let Me Down” still plays in the background; it must be on a loop or something. My eyes drift toward the National Geographic again. I don’t know why I keep coming back to it, but the yellow border seems to have me transfixed. I finally resign myself to the fact that this is all we are going to do tonight. I let out a sigh. It seems like this is all we ever do.

All Rights Reserved to Devlin Byrne.

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