"Whenever I write the novel... you know, the novel I never actually write... in the story I'm usually, no, I'm always the bad guy," said Mike as he spun a half-full tumbler of whiskey in his right hand, shifting in his bar stool.
"What does that even mean?" James was becoming impatient. He sipped the last of his Newcastle and shot a glare at the bartender, socializing with friends, at the other end of the bar.
"It's not that I'm romanticizing antagonism... it's just that after all these years I just don't think I'm a good person. And when I try to be, I just fuck everything up. In fiction, I at least don't have the luxury of guilt."
Guilt. James pondered that momentarily, puzzled why anyone would choose to antagonize.
Gillian Welch came on the jukebox: "...I wanna do right, but not right now..."
Mike swallowed his whiskey. "It was nice to see you James," said Mike as he stood and started to walk away, turning, "keep fighting the good fight."
"Yeah," James said to the bar, "whatever that means."