We Promise Terry Isn’t the Author, by Luke Strickler

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Terry is not the author, nor is he a reference to the author.

Terry is not any one of the author’s friends, a person who considers themselves a friend of the author, lost love, personal trainer, or you, Greg, so stop asking.

Terry’s name is not to be broken apart to find a hidden message, as the word “Retry” has no relation to the author other than his failed Candy Crush level.

Terry’s name is not an acronym or initialism, although both he and the author know the difference, and will bring it up in conversation.

Terry is 27 years old, which is too young to be a reminder of lost youth, too old to relate to the author, and 38 years short of being eligible for the senior discount at Ruby Tuesdays, of which the author is also ineligible.

Terry’s age does not represent the mental state of the author, as he does not feel that his mental state should be described as a number, but merely, “a constant nightmare.”

Terry is a white male of tall height, which is similar to that of the author, but who swears it’s just because Terry has two tall, white parents, most likely named Bryce and Molly.

Terry’s haircut is good, not great, and he has never had much confidence in it, which has less to due with Terry’s self esteem, and more to due with Terry’s high hairline.

Terry’s wardrobe largely consists of dark jeans, stylish jackets, and button-down shirts, which aren’t an allusion to the author’s style, but instead to fashion-forward men across the New England area.

Terry can’t pull off wearing a hat.

Terry once shit his pants, but it was on a dare, and the author has forgiven him.

Terry’s problems stem from relationships, financial troubles, boredom, and adult acne, giving his problems enough range to not fall into any one area of difficulty, but still give him reason to drink.

Terry recently thought that he had an ear infection, but it turned out to just be a buildup of wax, which is why it did not appear on the list above, although it still somewhat worries him.

Terry’s list of problems normally gravitates between four and nine, with a “bitch” occasionally being between one and two of them.

Terry, as well as the author, does not often refer to problems as bitches, unless under the influence of alcohol, and apologizes to any women who takes offense, and asks if you want to get coffee.

Terry once cried for 15 minutes after a serious emotional experience that took place in a Burger King, which has never happened to the author, as he prefers Wendy’s.

Terry likes to drive at night, a specific interest that is meant to characterize him, but in no way pigeonholes him to any person, real or fictional, or any alternative rock song from the 2000s.

Terry feels night is the perfect environment for thinking, an opinion shared by many people that can in no way be traced back to the author, or his poetry.

Terry feels that he is able to really think things through at night, such as his relationships, boredom, and financial trouble, while his acne only seems to feed on his pain.

Terry is a great driver, relating him much more to the author’s father, friends, and Vin Diesel, than the author himself.

Terry drives a Subaru, which is not meant as anything besides a sponsorship.

Terry decided he was going to drive west, so that he could drive throughout the night, and not so he could satisfy his love of middle America, which not he, the author, nor anyone, has.

Terry drove throughout the Maryland night, and then through the West Virginia night, but not before briefly stopping in the Pennsylvania night to visit the author, as a quick reminder that Terry is still not, nor has he ever been, him.

Terry arrived in California, out of gas and extremely hungry, which is a major difference between him and the author, as the author is currently eating a sandwich (“currently” not dependent on the time this was written vs. the time you read it, as the author is almost always eating a sandwich).

Terry had driven enough time in the dark to figure out everything, which especially contrasts the author, who has nothing figured out, and probably never will.

So if we can agree that, from the examples, descriptions, and stories given about Terry, he is indeed not the author, but instead a completely separate literary being, unrelated to any and all knowledge, experiences, and thoughts the author has ever had or recognized, we can begin the story.

Terry went to the grocery store, but he forgot to get eggs. What an idiot.

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