Knives Dark – Chapter 3 – “Elementary”

Allan and Jim had been friends since high school. They’d reconnected years later, when Jim was working as an assistant lawyer for his father’s firm and Allan needed someone to represent him for a speeding ticket. Ever since then, they’d been meeting up at Bill Gray’s old-fashioned diner on a semi-regular basis to get plates and burgers.

“Some people are outright attention-seekers,” Jim said as he cut up the cheeseburger on his garbage plate. “Women especially. Like that one crazy woman with that psycho haircut who sicced the police on you that one time. Wasn’t she some twitter social-media freak or something?”

Allan smirked. He appreciated Jim’s attempt to cheer him up, even if he would refrain from describing her so negatively. “Yeah. Something like that. But I don’t think she did it for the attention. I mean, I don’t know. I didn’t know her that well. She probably reacted the way she did because she’d had a traumatic experience in the past.”

“Maybe so,” Jim conceded. “But even then, I think she enjoys the attention she gets by playing the part of the victim. Plus, that helps her push her feminist agenda, by treating you like some twisted sexual terrorist.”

Allan laughed at his friend’s verbiage. “Maybe you’re right. Maybe she does enjoy the attention and the thought that she’s doing something righteous.”

“Mrs. Goody-two-shoes,” Jim winked. Allan smiled and shook his head.

“So you going to eat those burgers?” Jim asked.

“I want to, just waiting for my appetite,” Allan replied as he picked up a burger and bit into it. “Man… so good,” he commented as he tried to stop the dressings from spilling out.

“It brings to point a certain fact: the ego-driven people who believe themselves self-righteous and don’t stop to consider how they might be wrong are often the most unfair and biased amongst us,” Allan said after chewing and swallowing.

“I’m sure that’s right, Allan,” Jim concurred, “but you gotta admit, just about everyone thinks they’re self-justified. Even you and me.”

Allan nodded. “We’re all trying to justify our own stories and narratives. All I’m saying is, it’s good to stop and think whether what you’re doing is right or wrong, and how you might be trampling someone else’s toes by doing what you think is right.”

“Yeah, but no one’s going to be that considerate,” Jim grimaced. “That just ain’t how the world works.”

“True that.” Allan agreed. “That’s why it’s so precious to find someone who is that considerate. Those are real friends.”

“Damn straight, buddy.” Jim said, and they pounded fists. “We men gotta look out for each other. Women don’t get us, they never will. They’ve got their own little self-help groups where they bitch and whine about every little thing like it’s some Shakespearean tragedy.” Jim chuckled, and Allan followed suit.

“They do tend to blow things out of proportion.”

“A little more than that, Allan. But think about it, you ever see a single pro-male activist group? I think if the women have one, the guys sure as hell deserve one, but we don’t form it because, honestly, who gives a damn? Guys fight the good fight and roll with the punches. Women break down and cry, boo-hoo, look at how helplessly vulnerable I am. It’s pathetic, really. It’s overplayed and overdone.”

“But it doesn’t change that there are some men who are very real threats out there,” Allan countered. He knew Jim wasn’t completely serious, but rather expressing his frustrations with the problem.

“No, it doesn’t. But then again, there are also plenty of women who are just as nasty, if not moreso, than men. I think at the end of the day, both sides have got good and bad, but it’s unfair for these witches to categorize you so haphazardly as being bad, when you’ve done nothing to deserve that.”

Allan nodded, looking at the skin of his arm. “Except be brown. And Muslim.”

“Well, yeah. Most everyone in America is going to hate you just for that. Stuck-up country filled with racist whites,” Jim joked, despite himself being white.

Allan broke down laughing as Jim grinned while chewing his food. It was unfortunate, he thought, that there was actually truth to Jim’s words.

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