The Last Paragraph Of A News Article On My Murder By A White Supremacist

The victim.

Image: Joe Catron

The victim was an adjunct professor, which is not tenure-track. The victim got a C in a Shakespeare class in college because he’d smoked too much weed the night before and overslept the final. The victim often blamed his grades that semester on quote unquote “being a scared teenager on his own in New York after 9/11.” The victim did mushrooms on three separate occasions from the ages of 17–27: the first time the victim laughed at a library for over an hour. The victim had a beer just the other day at a bar and it calmed his nerves something glorious and he had the notion of just quote unquote “saying fuck it and getting wasted.” The victim was a known abuser of Internet pornography, which authorities say he never paid for, except in guilt. The victim, despite having attended an Ivy League university, never earned more than $50,000 in a fiscal year. After college, the victim was once stopped by two police officers in the subway after wandering through an open subway gate. The officers groped the victim’s empty coat pockets asking if he had drugs on him. He did not, but he wished, afterwards, for drugs to still the express train of his heart. The victim’s heart often defied him by keeping a faster beat than that of slow-dripping history. As when the victim would walk past a squad car in later years. As when a white woman on the train would wedge herself into a scrum of whites across the aisle rather than reside in the depressions nearest him. As when, in a bar in Chicago, a white man kindly leaned over and, smiling, whispered, “If anything comes up missing, I’m coming for you.” As when the victim would open the news on his phone and see the sympathetic chiaroscuro of another white supremacist set against the grainy scowling selfie of another black victim who had somehow not been him. The victim’s life has been truncated, but who’s to say how much longer he would have lived anyway, what with his self-documented thoughts of suicide. The victim’s death was no great loss. The victim was no angel, had no wings, no halo, and not a single ruddy cheek. The victim maybe wasn’t such a victim after all.