(In the intervening, digitally crunched time, she had run off to watch a basketball game with her friends.) In another video, Troy tried to beer bong a 40 of Olde English, which was extremely painful because he swallowed an air bubble that made his chest hurt really bad, and he ended up puking white foam all over his patio.
In this murky yellow light, with his soft blond mane, wet blue eyes, and big anaphylactic cheeks, he looked like something you’d find trapped in an exotic aquarium: a startled pufferfish, perhaps. It was a challenge that this guy Bruz40 had started a while back, making 10-minute videos and then posting them to You Tube, so other malt liquor drinkers could watch and leave comments.In writing this piece, my editor keeps cautioning me to remember that Troy’s oeuvre is a video, a performance, and to not necessarily to take it as reality. To accept it would be to admit that I can no longer distinguish confession from fabrication, thereby eroding one of the key epistemological underpinnings of reportage. If the whole house were dipped in wax and rendered decay-proof, it could one day serve as a museum of 21st century Americana: eggs boiling on the stove for meat loaf; local news on one TV (“A chain fell and hit him, and he was taken to a nearby hospital”) and Rambo 2 on another; fake flowers in vases; ceramic angels; a Renoir reproduction; a pencil drawing of Marilyn Monroe; gas fireplaces; a smell that could only be a mixture of dog, thick carpet, cinnamon candles, and the muddled molecular memory of bygone meals.More importantly, for a digital being like Troy, to do so would be to delete huge portions of his life. Out in the driveway sat his mom’s car, a white 2004 Chevy Blazer Extreme, with a pair of fuzzy dice hanging from the rearview and seat covers embroidered with skulls.Kent was a college guy—he got paid a lot to use some kind of vibration machine to divine when oil-and-gas drills were going to break down—whereas Troy was just a beer drinker with a side job in fast food.They could still bond over a tallboy of Keystone Ice and a game of trashcan basketball, but this, this Internet drinking thing Troy was trying out, made Kent visibly uncomfortable.