Billy ducks the first punch, feints right and comes up on the left to circle behind the man and break a glass over his head. It’s late and everyone is drunk, him included, which works to his benefit—alcohol makes them sloppy and obvious, but it lights a fire in him, makes him all the more wary for it. Makes him angrier, too.
Dangerous, to drink the way he does, sticking out the way he does. But he’d spent years now, on his own, and he knows better than to drop his guard under any circumstance, drunk or not. And there is so little in his life to look forward too—a man like him can’t begrudge himself too much, for fear of letting life grind him down under its heel. If he drinks a little more than he should sometimes, what of it? He still wakes up every morning. Still hasn’t met a man who could take him down for longer than that.
He slams the last man’s head against the bar, once and then twice for good measure, until the man goes limp in his hands and he lets the body drop to the floor. And that was six of them down for the count, all unconscious if not worse, bar emptied out save for one man staring at him queerly from across the room.
Billy shifts slightly, squares off his shoulders, waiting on the man to lift his rifle; but he doesn’t. Instead, the man deliberately takes his finger off the trigger and gives his full name, which is enough of a rarity these days that Billy pauses.
When he first came to America, he thought maybe that Americans did things differently somehow. But he found out soon enough that the difference lay with him, and not with Americans. All the world over, it seems, people introduce themselves with their full names, quick as anything, in hopes of finding the one person with it printed on their skin. White folk look at him, and it’s not a matter of that hope dying, as much as it is an incomprehension that it could even be found there in the first place. No one gives their name to him because he doesn’t matter.
So the man gives him his full name, a proper introduction of the sort that Billy never gets anymore, and Billy lets the words sink in.
What the actual fuck. How the fuck are they going to have a whole show dedicated to music and how it changes lives and how important it is to people then say that rock doesn’t matter. Just because Rock isn’t as big as Hip-Hop or Pop doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. It matters to millions of people. It matters to people who look up to those artists. Not like it matters but rock means something to millions of people and has saved lives of millions of people. Not like it matters but fuck you MTV.
“White girls should wear braids too!”
“Iggy is the queen of rap.”
“All lives matter!”
“I wish I could be ghetto like you”
“Some parts in the Light Girls docu.”
“I date outside of my race bc black men ain’t ish…”
“All dark skin girls look like roaches”
“Don’t you think that color is a little too bright for you?”