I’m beat, and it’s a Thursday night. Running on three hours of sleep from Tuesday night at the newspaper and feeling the heat from coffee, brandy and beers the Wednesday night before, I settle down at 7:30 p.m. on the couch to watch a documentary. “Cocaine Cowboys” is the name.

I don’t even make it past the first drug shipment, and doze off. An hour later, I wake up to carnage and gore on the screen. Some cocaine cowboys made mistakes and were killed.  Bloody faces keep popping up on the screen. Nauseated, I grab some turkey and cheese from the fridge and scarf it down.

Slowly, my roommates begin to file back into the house. The house, located at Fairfield Beach, has been called the Morning Wood for as long as I can tell. Maybe it’s because all the walls have wood paneling, but I’m going to assume there’s something else to it.

Usually we start with mixers, which usually contain some combination of Mountain Dew, Sprite, Cool-Aid powder, water and the cheapest vodka we can find. Who says 12 bucks can’t buy happiness?

It’s harsh, real harsh, so we finish and move to the case of beer. Schaefer is the name, and it tastes as watery and smooth as any cheap beer does.

This night starts off like any other, but I’m warning you now, this ending is different.

Now we’re off to the only bar around, the Sea Grape. I have no cash, and my roommates have none to cover me. I swear off the bouncer for the steep cover charge and walk away. “Wait,” he yells, “just go in for free.”

Talking with two girls and myself. Someone tries to dance with one girl. He’s black. She gives me the look. I laugh and do nothing. I saw him as a human, not as black. She gives me the look again. I pull her over and start dancing.

Feeling bad, I go over and introduce myself. Corey is his name. I teach him a handshake that only my roommate and I know, and he digs it.

Later, we exit the bar and are shuffled away from the street by the cops. I head over to Corey and his friends. They are all black. We hang out, talk, and I mention that he should keep coming down to the beach. Two of my friends seemed shocked that, not only are there black people in Fairfield, but that I am talking to them.

More jokes and laughter as we all try to put each other’s numbers in our phones. Suddenly, I feel one friend tugging at my arm. I can’t look at her out of fear that Corey will know she wants me to leave.

Coincidently, we all have BlackBerrys, so we trade BBMs, and after some struggling to figure out our phones (Even though I’ve had mine for three months), I give into my friend’s tugging and leave them with her.

“I thought we were going to get shot.”

“What about that Bridgeport gang threat?”

“Why did you talk to them?”

These were the first words that came out of her mouth as we walked away.

More people who witnessed agreed and said that I should be more careful about who I talk to.

Yes, I admit that I did think about the gang threat when speaking to them. If I wasn’t protective of myself, I wouldn’t be very smart. But as soon as I talked to Corey and his friends, that thought vanished.

Then I said:

“You are all racist.”

More yelling ensued, and I left the party. That intense buzz I was feeling from eating a small dinner was gone and I was left shocked and broken standing on the porch of my friend’s house.

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