Dominic, my friend before he went to college, had shortened his name to DJ. He was back for the summer but my friend was gone, leaving behind a frat boy husk that bled visible insecurities. Now his hair was bleached and pulled back into a long ponytail. A fake diamond hung from his ear matching the fake Rolex on his wrist. Tribal tattoos around one bicep peeked out from under the sleeve of his polo shirt that he wore with the collar turned up. It was night and he still had sunglasses on. His skin had a vaguely orange tint, like Cheetos residue that could never be fully washed off.
Each piece of his persona was a part of a membership into a club I had no interest in joining and went out of my way to avoid. All that was missing was the Japanese symbol for wife beater that he thought meant prosperity.
His voice had been a little too loud all night long, the voice of a perpetual drunk, or maybe someone afraid of their own thoughts.
“Look, Bro, check out this asian tat. Dude says it means integrity.”