The sad story of Jughead is that he’s the coolest of them all. You realize this when you’re in your later teens. Archie is a solipsistic twit. Reggie probably beats up girls. Moose seems like a decent guy, but hotheaded and plain-dumb. Jughead, now Jughead, Jughead has only animal cravings and thinks only beautiful thoughts. When Jughead is tired, he sleeps. When Jughead is hungry, which is at all times except for when he is tired, Jughead eats. He lives poetically. A hamburger is his muse: he thinks of nothing but.
In your late twenties you realize that the Jughead model is not sustainable. Jughead, jobless, tries for a second bachelor’s degree. Takes up juggling, hits on undergraduates. Always trying to start a massage circle, Jughead. His eyes, once casual slivers of self-assuredness, are now big moons of needy. You still like Jughead, right?
You haven’t talked to Jughead in a long time. You moved to the city, he stayed in Riverdale. Cheaper rent, and “the city is over, man, it’s gentrified, now all the artists live out here.” Riverdale has a great little scene, he assures anyone at all.
The last time you see Jughead, besides on Facebook (which Jughead purports to hate and which Jughead uses far more than you do), is at some kind of protest downtown. You’re having lunch with coworkers and Jughead is yelling rhyming couplets into a megaphone. He’s wearing a jester hat and it’s the saddest thing you’ve ever seen.