“Spring,” at that point of deep winter, was taboo, as he predicted Spring temperatures would arrive on April first, and there was no room for debate: the snowstorm of March seventeenth was a topic that brought him to flee the room, tangible evidence in the flaw of his pure logic and proof that he was a human being, and that nothing, especially our decisions, was objective. He excommunicated all those who mentioned the storm. She purchased her new winter jacket in disguise.
She did not want to become another Sean, excommunicated after leaving a bag open in his living room, showing the pink-thumb of a mitten. And who the fuck wears pink anyway, he had said.
His forever careful entourage strained to remain within the halo of his charisma, between the contours of his positive passions and character that seemed to suggest a knowledge of things beyond his years, magnetic to the hopeful.
She suspected that his revered knowledge was borrowed, without permission, from a myriad of intellectuals dense enough that tracing the line of his cultural plagiarism would require a full-time researcher.
His inability to be wrong was one of those unfortunate qualities that grow like vines to strangle the stone houses of one’s mind, failing to be severed at the appropriate age. She knew she would not recognize him without his passionate-laziness, because he would see himself.
Relationships with people who questioned his absolute truths were severed with those long and patronizing Facebook messages that ask no questions. Brian, an ex-communicated, had forgotten to remove a scarf before walking in his neighbourhood, and had returned, after tea, to a message about all the reasons of his absolute wrongness. He isolated himself in this way to sideline the possibility of being wrong when speaking to someone in person, who could question your logic to your face: online, you simply deleted the message, muttered a comment to a screen.
He never caught her in the jacket. She stopped calling him out for his white saviour complex. He stopped making eye contact. She stopped mentioning that he had a race and that privilege required oppression. He stopped Snapchatting her. She did not question his tendency to make people of colour present a case for the violence inflicted upon them – as though it was the duty of the victim to prove the truth of the violence. He spoke about her more with others than with her. She let him embarrass himself and his race by allowing him to speak like a child in front of adults. He did not ask about her dog. She did not remind him about his wearing the cape on the whole next morning after the costume party.
He did not need to ask questions- he never wanted answers- and concluded by talking at a person who listened with nods that she was wrong for so many reasons, a complex argument that avoided the uncomfortable possibility of his being wrong, and the feeling that, in her looks to him, as he preached to the group of ‘yes’ people, she knew it.
An authorial Facebook message went, hey, it’s unacceptable, you’re wrong, I don’t want to discuss it, I can’t believe you act like this, I have made my decision.
On the thirty-first of March he sat on the balcony with a friend. A cool breeze brought them to move in doors as communicated through nods. The clouds that were eerily close meant it was about to rain or snow.
word by Liam Lachance
colour by Ilya Shkipin
From the author: “Isolation to avoid being wrong keeps violence alive: we avoid accountability and support acts of violence through our willfully ignorant complicity.”