• Published 1st Jul 2014
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Friday Night Twilight II - BlazzingInferno



Twilight still visits me twice a month. It’s okay, I guess.

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Daring Don’t, Flight to the Finish, and Pony Resemblances

Sometimes I wonder why I’m doing this, why I’m setting out a bowl full of apples and several bottles of soda on my coffee table. I’d like to say there’s more I could be doing with my life, but I really can’t. I go to college, once in a while anyway, and I have a part time job. That sums up my day to day life; all except for every other Friday night.

She arrives as she always does, with a small bang that rattles my nerves far more than my apartment. Twilight Sparkle, a pony from that cartoon show, walks out of the hallway and seats herself on the couch. She looks just like you’d expect her too; a three foot tall, purple pony princess with wings and a unicorn horn. What you might not expect is her penchant for raiding the fridge.

“Hi, Jake.”

“Hi, Twilight.”

“Are those Red Delicious apples?”

“Uh…”

“That isn’t diet soda, is it?”

“Of course not.”

I still don’t fully understand why she comes here, or how. All I know with any certainty is that at a quarter past eight on every first and third Friday, she’s going to come and she’s going to insist that we watch that show of hers. I don’t really like the show much, and, interestingly enough, neither does she. She calls it research; I call it a distraction from studying. The only plus side is her unfiltered opinions on how she and her friend’s lives are condensed into twenty two minute episodes.

An apple and soda bottle levitate off the table in an aura of purple light and drop into her waiting grasp.

“So, are you all set for the fall semester? Did you pick a new major yet?”

Oh yes, and she loves to discuss my pathetic life. I take a bottle off the table and shake my head. “Not really.”

“Oh come on, aren’t you even a little excited? Think of all the new things you’ll get to learn.”

“I’d be a lot more excited if I knew where all of this was going. I mean, I’ve taken at least one class from every department at this school. Nothing clicks, nothing tells me ‘Jake, you could do this for the rest of your life.’ ”

“You did pretty well in English last semester, didn’t you?”

“I guess, but there’s no money in that. Writers make almost nothing, same goes for teachers.”

“But if you enjoy doing it…”

“That’s not what I meant. Around here we don’t get magical tattoos that tell us what we’re meant to do. I need to find something that pays off my student loans while not driving me insane.”

“My cutie mark is not a tattoo!”

“Then why are you looking at it?”

She blushes and looks away. That seems like a fair reaction to being caught checking out your own posterior.

My grin lapses a few seconds later. “Sorry.”

“No, no. You’re right.”

I should get that on tape. “Want some popcorn?”

“Sure. I’ll get the show playing, I’ll even skip the theme song.”

“You’re a saint.”

“Nope. Pony.”

---

About fifteen minutes later, there are two bags of popcorn on the table, and the first episode is nearly over. I throw a few kernels in my mouth and wish the crunching sound would drown out the dialogue. Normally that’s Twilight’s job.

“So what’s the deal with Rainbow Dash and what’s her name… A. K. Yearling? Is she just dreaming this whole thing or something?”

I glance over and, for the first time ever, see Twilight sitting at the edge of the couch with her eyes fixed on the TV and her mouth hanging open. Normally she’d be reclining against the back cushion and calling out whatever the show was skipping over for the sake of time or age appropriateness.

“Twilight?”

“Ssh, this is the good part.”

“You’re kidding me.”

“Just wait for it.”

I wait. I’m not sure why I am. Things wrap up in the last few minutes just like they always do. When the credits finally roll, Twilight exhales a massive breath and reaches for an apple.

“Are you okay?”

She nods. “I can’t believe that really happened. I can’t believe I really met her!”

“You mean that wasn’t a dream?”

“Nope, I was there. We really met A. K. Yearling, and she’s really Daring Do.”

“But that’s crazy. Have you looked at her? She’s just Rainbow Dash with a different color scheme.”

Twilight pauses in mid-bite. “What?”

I flick bits of apple off the couch. “Swallow first.”

Her horn starts to glow while she finishes her mouthful. The show rewinds until we’re staring at a frame of Rainbow Dash and Daring Do side by side. Who needs a fancy cable box when you’ve got a magic pony. If only she had the patience for football games.

She marches up to the TV and puts a purple hoof between the two on-screen characters.

“What resemblance?”

“You’re staring right at it. Same eyes, same wings, same hairstyle…”

“Manestyle, and no, they don’t look alike at all.”

“But…”

She turns away from the TV and grins at me. “Maybe it’s just my magical tattoo talking, but they don’t look alike at all. Not to a fellow pony, at least. If it makes you feel any better, I can barely tell humans apart. Except for the smell, I suppose.”

“Fine, fine. Different worlds, different species. Can we move on?”

She trots back to the couch and jumps back into her usual spot. I think she’s deliberately putting that violet star of hers in my peripheral vision. “Okay, one more episode!”

“What’s this one about?”

“Based on the last couple days, it’ll be about the Cutie Mark Crusaders.”

“Great.”

I actually mean it. Of all the characters on the show, I get annoyed with them the least.

Twenty minutes later, I can still stand by that assertion. Sure, they’re ponies, but they’re still kids. Kids always have it tough, and at least these three aren’t walking pop-culture billboards.

I finish off my final soda of the evening and watch the end credits.

“The orange one actually has parents, right?”

“Scootaloo? Why wouldn’t she? Do you think she lives under the Ponyville bridge?”

“We’ve actually seen some family members for the other two, hers are never around.”

Twilight makes a face that I know well. She’s trying to decide how best to explain something she finds uncomfortable.

“I… don’t think we’ll be seeing her family on the show.”

“Why not?”

“It’s kind of messy. She just has a dad. He’s a construction worker and he swears a lot, just out of habit.”

“You’ve met him?”

“Oh yeah. I’m sort of tutoring those three once a week. The point is, Scootaloo’s dad isn’t really kid friendly. He loves Scootaloo to death, but he can’t stop his mouth.”

“So is the show editing out half of what she says?”

“Oh no, you’d never catch her swearing.”

“Really?”

“She sees how her dad’s life is, she doesn’t want it hers to turn out the same way. I’m so glad the mentoring thing with Rainbow is finally getting off the ground, that filly needs an adult mare in her life.”

“Does Rainbow Dash really count as an adult?”

Twilight makes that face again. “Sometimes. She’s a whole lot more mature than she used to be.”

“I guess that’s good, for both their sakes.”

“The funny thing is, that I think Scootaloo helped it happen. I don’t think Rainbow suddenly became mature enough to handle a little sister. Scootaloo brought it out in her.”

“That must’ve taken a lot of digging.”

“Years. She’s a patient little filly, when she wants to be.”

We sit there for a moment. I don’t think either of us really know what to do with the touching episodes. Not even Twilight can rag on the show when its about a little pegasus that can’t fly. Finally I stand and start clearing away the dishes.

“Oh, let me help.”

Our collection of empty soda bottles glows purple and rises off the table.

“That’s a first.”

“Hey, I can do basic housework.”

“Isn’t that why you keep Spike around?”

She sticks out her tongue at me. “That’s different; he’s my assistant.”

“What does that even mean? Why do you need an assistant?”

“Oh, you know… for chores and stuff. Ugh, speaking of that I’d better get back. The last time I was over here late he threw a crazy party.”

“Pinkie crazy?”

“There’s no other kind. Thanks again for the popcorn.”

“No problem. See you in a couple weeks.”

I bite my tongue. I can’t believe I just said that. Once upon a time, I loathed her visits; the magic of being visited by an impossible creature wears off after a few hours of her eating your food, berating her own television show, and questioning your life choices.

Sometimes she’d borrow my laptop, once again for ‘research’. Those blissful moments of quiet always ended in her screaming something along the lines of ‘eew’ and covering her eyes. In retrospect I guess I can’t blame her for that part, now that I know she was inadvertently discovering humanity’s obsession with, as she would say, where foals come from.

Another bang signals her exit. Once again I have my apartment to myself. Once again I’m left wondering what I’m doing with my life.

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