The Impotent Satyr
Ben Jensen retrieved a stack of chairs from his basement--it was a hot summer's day, and he planned a barbecue with his wife and two kids. Leaning against the wall was Ben's once-prized tiki torch set, untouched since the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally on August 11, 2017. He lifted a hand and gently stroked the woven bamboo, whispering faintly, "I miss you. I miss the way you lit up my family's celebrations, regardless of attendees' skin color." His index finger felt the slightly-charred wick. Ben grasped onto the pole and shook it in a circle just to feel the weight of the oil and hear it splosh around. "What if...what if I just lit you down here? Just for myself; no one would see us together." He removed a Bic rainbow-painted gay pride lighter from his pants and ignited the flame. His eyes became transfixed on the flickering yellow eruption as he inched it closer and closer to the wick. A bead of sweat dripped from his forehead, and the fire reflected in his lustful, race-inclusive eyes.
"Are you alt-right?" his wife called from the top of the stairs.
He diminished the fire in a drastic motion and turned around. "What?"
"I said, 'Are you alright down there'?"
"Oh, yeah. I'm...I'm fine. I'll be right up."
"Would you bring up blood and soil for me?"
"Wh-what?" he asked incredulously.
"I said, 'Would you bring up potting soil'? I need to replant the daffodils. Are you sure you're OK? Did you hit your head down there?"
"No, I'm fine--I swear!"
"Okay..." Ben's wife started to walk away, but she turned around and called down, "They will not replace us."
Ben rubbed his ears. "What did you just say?"
"The day will get away from us. If you spend any more time down there we'll run out of daylight."
"Just give me a minute. I swear I'll be right up." His wife left him alone once more. Ben turned around one last time and looked at the tiki torch. "I'm not a bad person," he mumbled. "Am I?" He picked up the chairs and walked them up the stairs and then placed them outside on his lawn. He smiled as he looked around at his furniture, grill, and yard games setup. But then his smile faded--something wasn't quite right. No...
Ben hurried to his garage and grabbed a ladder which he then propped against the house. With each rung he stepped on, his stomach churned and twisted. "I'm a good person. I'm a good person," he thought to himself. His body went on all fours as he scrambled on the roof to the top. He gazed out over his yard. It was as he feared--every set piece in his yard was connected and formed a swastika visible from above. Then as if it came out of nowhere, a local news helicopter whirred high above him.
"Daddy," Ben's youngest child called up to him. "Why is our house on TV?" Ben didn't know how to answer.
"Honey, I can't believe you did this!" his wife exclaimed.
"I can explain everything! I didn't mean to!" Ben exasperatedly yelled back. He hurried back down the ladder and ran into the yard, tearing apart all of the tables and chairs, destroying some in the process.
His youngest turned up the volume on the television set just inside, loud enough for him to hear, "A local artist has set up ornaments in their back yard in the shape of a swastika, but, oh wow, but now the man has rearranged everything to resemble notable actor Paul Giamatti! Is this man implying that Mr. Giamatti is a Nazi? Stay tuned for more speculation!"
"Okay--that's it! Everyone inside! No barbecuing meat today. In fact, how about we just sit inside and enjoy a cool, crisp vegetable salad?"
Ben's oldest child spoke up, "Dad, did you know? I learned in school that Hitler was vegetarian."