"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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Being a degenerate is okay these days
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"Just... people." Jae lifted one shoulder in a half-shrug, hoping that Hazel got the gist of what he meant. People were exhausting, and current circumstances weren't helping. "It's not that important, though. I'm just tired." He looked at his backpack and the barely-visible spine of his algebra textbook through the mesh pocket and frowned. "Gonna be more tired by the time we're done here, though."

"Good luck with your audition." He was pretty sure he'd heard of The Laramie Project in some form or another before now, but hell if he could remember what it was about. It wasn't like a musical or any of those more fantasy-oriented shows that seemed popular in the drama club though, he was pretty sure. "And yeah, water would be great." He took the glass and pitcher, frowning again at how his hand shook ever so slightly as he poured.

(A side-effect of wanting a smoke, or just nerves? Both?)

Jae gratefully took a gulp of water and set the glass down with a clink. Better. He probably ought to stay more hydrated in general. "But yeah, besides having to work Saturday night, I'm probably just going to lay around this weekend. I need a fucking break. I love Mrs. Libermann and everything, but she's been on my case to finish my triptych for the expo soon and there were... setbacks with that. She's probably also mad because I missed the last art club meeting." And okay, that one had actually been his fault; he'd just forgotten about it, sue him.

He paused to take a breath before he really started rambling. He tried to tuck his bangs behind his ear, but they kept escaping and falling in his face, distracting him from really gathering his thoughts.

"I dunno, things are just crazy lately. You know how it is."
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Bittersweet and Sour · Main Street