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Being a degenerate is okay these days
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"Sadie- oh, yeah. That's a thing." Jae rubbed the back of his neck, deciding that if Hazel wanted to ignore her little episode, he'd let it go. "I haven't really thought about whether I'm going. I guess I probably will, to keep an eye on Henry."

Jae took another drag off his cigarette so he could disguise his sigh of irritation and apprehension as just another exhale. "He's got a date with somebody who's never talked to him before and it sounds like a disaster." Just who it would be a disaster for was still up in the air, but if Jae's immediate suspicions came true and this turned out to be some prank for Scarlett McAfee and her friends to giggle over how she'd asked Henry out and he'd totally bought it, well. Jae's actions, whatever they turned out to be, would be one hundred percent justified in that case.

People thought that they could fuck with Henry and get away with it because he'd usually just let them off the hook. It was Jae's job as his best friend to remind them that no they fucking couldn't. He didn't know Scarlett McAfee from a hole in the ground, and she wasn't getting the benefit of the doubt just because Henry had taken the time to list off all her apparent good qualities to him. Henry tended to see the good in people, to a fault. Case in point: Jae was his best friend.

...This train of thought was making him angry. Jae closed his eyes and inhaled deeply through his nose. Held the breath, counted backwards from ten. Basic as shit anger management, but it was surprisingly effective at getting his pulse back down to normal when there wasn't somebody there egging him on.

There was Hazel there, though, and he owed her an answer that didn't just consist of him grumbling and scowling about all the potential trouble Henry could be getting into.

"Sorry, that was kind of... I just don't know, her, you know, and Henry's... Henry." Jae made a vague gesture with his free hand and brought the cigarette to his lips again with the other. Deep breath, exhale.

"Sorry. Are you going, though? We could hang out there if you are." And he was at least 20% less likely to start an ill-advised fight if someone reliable was there to reign him in.
"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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