STORYTIME

I (Accidentally) Went to a Party Thrown by a White Supremacist

In my defense, it’s not like he TOLD me he was.

Photo courtesy of VitalikRadko from Depositphotos.com

When you picture a college party, where does your mind go? Pure hedonism? National Lampoon? Lampshades on heads, keggers, beer pong, and blackouts?

That would have been my first guess, too, if I hadn’t lived close to the least party-centric college in possibly the entire world. It was a college made specifically for people to learn how to program video games. Not even programming other stuff, JUST video games.

The first college party I went to hosted by people from that school involved six people on their laptops, doing homework, while I quietly got drunk watching Wreck-It-Ralph alone in the living room.

I had become accustomed to “parties” being a euphemism for “Let’s gather around while one of us explains Bitcoin to the rest!”

Yawn.

So you can imagine my excitement when I got a Facebook invite to a party promising drinking games and loud music. Sure, it was from a guy I didn’t really know that well, but I knew most of the people on the invite list, so how bad could it be?

Famous last words, right?

The party started normally enough. True, there was a whole time slot dedicated to sober board game playing before the fun started, but it was more than I could ask for for a party in this town.

The interesting stuff happened after most people had left. It was me, my roommate, and three other people gathered around the sticky glass tabletop trying to invent new drinking games at 2AM. This, of course, included the host.

Let’s call him “Chaz.” That’s not his real name, but it really captures the vibe.

On a surface level, Chaz is a nice enough guy. Or, maybe he’s nice enough to me because I’m white, it’s hard to say. He’s a normal, geeky kind of guy, admittedly with more charisma than a lot of computer programmers I’ve met. He’s observant. He tries to be funny, and often misses the mark.

None of this was enough to be a red flag, especially when one is drunk.

True, he was lowkey obsessed with how much money he made, but that’s pretty par for the course when you meet young men who haven’t figured themselves out yet.

It wasn’t until we were inventing this drinking game that I got to know him beyond surface level.

The game started out like Truth or Dare with more rules. You would write out a challenge on a slip of paper, the papers would all be shuffled together, and everyone would pull one. It started mild enough: “Shotgun a beer,” for example.

But it was 2 in the fucking morning, and I was tired. So I started writing more experimental challenges.

“Tell me about your first pet.” “Tell me about your relationship with your family.”

The one that changed the nature of the party, and makes this a story worth telling, was this:

“Tell me about a time you fell in love.”

I learned a lot about the people at this party. Tears were shed. It was honestly beautiful. If you ever find yourself at a party that’s going late, and are drunk and tired enough for some emotional intimacy, I recommend this game.

Chaz, however, revealed quite a bit about himself.

He didn’t dive into the gun collection he has, or his opinions on child labor that I would find out later during daytime conversations, but he say that he didn’t believe in love.

That was a real record scratch moment for me. Not interested in love? Sure. That’s none of my business. But doesn’t believe in ANY love? At all? What kind of sad world did he live in?

He justified it with decent rhetoric, talking about psychology and how all of his relationships have failed, but we all know that there’s more to that.

A world populated only by people like him must be lonely indeed.

I walked home with my roommate as the sun rose, sometime around 5AM. It was beautiful. But I couldn’t stop thinking about this guy, and what his problem was.

Had he just been dumped a lot? Was he really so callous? Some of his exes were at that party! How could he have dated so many people and still just have no feelings about them?

I didn’t need to wonder about why he was so unsuccessful in love for long.

Through the grapevine, I began to hear a lot about Chaz. His political leanings. The fact that he at one point admitted that he believes his life is worth more than most people’s, because of his “background.”

And yeah, the gleeful gun collecting and believing the child labor should be legal were pretty big red flags too.

To this day, I wonder if there were more signs that I missed that he was going to be such an asshole. I comb through my memories of that night, my stupendous compassion for this poor idiot who didn’t believe in love, and wonder what I didn’t see through the alcohol and desire to be at a party — any party.

Bigots these days are smart. They’re stealthy. They hide behind respectable button-downs and promises of beer-pong, the evil masterminds.

I’m glad I had that moment of vulnerability with Chaz.

That brief window into his black, heartless soul was my first clue that something was seriously up with this guy.

I don’t think you should go around constantly on high alert that fascists are inviting you to their parties, but I am going to encourage you to try to get to know the people around you.

You might discover something really wonderful, like a true friend. Or! You’ll find out a viper in your midst! It might not make you happy to find out, but it’s the first step in getting someone like that out of your friend group.

There is a happy ending.

First of all, nobody invites Chaz around anymore. He talked about his guns and voting record among too many queer leftists, and now we have warnings about him.

But the real happy story is my last interaction with this clown:

It was another party, much like his, but on Halloween. This is important because it meant I was wasted beyond recognition, sitting in the hallway, fully in costume, with a prop sword in my hands.

Do you know what to do when a white supremacist tries to make polite conversation, and you have a sword in hand?

Obviously, whack the shit out of his ankles until he walks away.

10/10 interaction with a fascist. I fully recommend it.

Next time the sword won’t be a prop, if I get my way.

Goofball, anti-fascist, stay at home jester. I use they/them pronouns and know useless information about everything.

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