Monday, August 31, 2009

All My Friends Are Losers

(Losing Myself, Moloka'i, 2009)

This problem started a few years back, and has traced each and every day with the same feeling. Today is the third day of my fourty-third year, and I feel the worst I have ever felt. My stomach is swamped with a turning sea, my eyes stare into whatever is placed in front of them until I lose focus to tears. I sometimes wake up sitting down in a chair or bench, sometimes I awake standing in an elevator or waiting in a line, and every time I am surprised. I am surprised at this world, I am confused at first; losing the thin line that separates me from my dreams. Deep breathes is what the doctor told me. He also told me to have more fiber in my life, to run a mile each day, and to eat a grapefruit daily. And at first I did, I listened, and I acted; each day I woke up, ran, had my fiber, then grapefruit, and soon a year had passed. I felt no different, I saw the days fade into each other, mistaking Tuesday for Monday, sometimes for Friday, and then I just started using the term yesterday for every day after today, and tomorrow represented an uncertainty I lost touch with.
Mary was a coworker of mine, and she had felt the same, and when we had our talks in the breakroom, she showed me her scars, and I showed her mine. In perfect detail we described our injuries as if they were yesterday, and in those thirty-five minute breaks we lived each and every fall, car accident, stabbing, drug addiction, and gun shot. In that short piece of time we managed to intoxicate ourselves just before being noticed, and when we drank we sang, we locked the doors, and sang our jolly and depressed faces off, and ripped the muscles from our cheeks as tears fill our bones with sorrow.
The break eventually ended, we would recompose each other, adjust one another's tie, and kiss each other on the cheek to smell the odor of alcohol in each other's mouths. It also helped to settle any sexual tension generated, that was the last thing we wanted, crying during sex.
Joel, or Jimmy to me, was hired four years ago to replace my position when I was promoted. We took to each other well; exchanging stories of our childhood, mixed in with long awkward moments as we both acted to reminisce, only filling in the gap about how sad we were. Our time together was spent in my office, and once Jimmy cried once, right there in that chair. His father had died when he was nineteen, and the last words he said to his father two months earlier was, "I don't fuckin' care anymore, I'm leaving this stupid place, idiot". He told me he wanted to kill myself for those words, even before his father passed away. After his father's death he felt nothing, and so he attempted to kill himself by drinking Everclear with sleeping pills. Since his story, I grow goose pimples to the sight of that chair, and have placed thumbtacks all over it's cushion to prevent anyone from sitting down in my office again.
I kept the chair for my own reasons, and when I am sick of filing reports I just look deep into each crack on its leather skin, and Joel's thumb prints on the stainless steel frame.

Chuck was an idiot, no one liked him, and he once sat in my thumbtacked chair when I was away on vacation. But to spite his stupidity, we went fishing together, and I often imagined him tipping the boat over, and drowning as I look to his lost face, then to his watch as I look at the second hand stops the moment he is dead.
To spite Chuck's personality and actions, we were friends, and when I mentioned our relationship to my shrink, she was it was because I needed someone to look down on, and make me feel better simply because I was not him.
Cindy was my shrink, and though we aren't real friends, the friends that see each other without being paid, I would like to think of her as a prostitute I didn't have sex with. She was there whenever, sometimes at 3am in the morning, as long as she got paid. She would smile all the time, and though I felt she was completely phony and full of doggy doodoo, she always had a genuine smile. I'd sometimes pause in-between sentences, as I lost myself in a staring contest with her smile. I told her everything, and I knew nothing about her. From the ring on her finger I knew she was married, but she also had rings on each of her fingers, so she could be single. I wondered if she talked about me and my pathetic life to her lover(s) after sex, and then imagined myself as one of her lovers and how her faces looked when she was having an organsm. I wondered if she had a genuine facial expression then, I wondered if she cared.
I am fourty-three years and three days old now, and haven't been found, haven't been lost, or have seen anything wonderful. When I return to my house after a business meeting, I could smell the musty scent of slow death. I worry I am growing old, and I haven't done anything with my life, probably the only one I'll ever get. I spent the whole time working hard, trying to get to a point of comfort, never reaching it, and to have enough to support a family.
I tuck myself into bed early tonight, I look up at my ceiling and see a spider make its way across the upside down painted desert. I look close, and see only a fuzzy resemblance. The glow from my bedroom window dimishes and I am left in darkness. My bed beneath me falls apart, leaving me in float, and my blankets bleed on to my flesh burning my clothes in vapor. I feel a film of moist air cover my naked body, and I cry. I cry, and I laugh, and I yell, and I choke and I cough. I try moving, I try leaving, I want to run, I want to escape. I am being held down, the air from my lungs is leaving me with each curse, each name in vain, and I dip my tongue into the abyss and say one last thing before I go...


Anonymous said...

(hmmm silence within the next couple days are a clue?)

BrendanGeorge said...

mystery, mysterious, mystified.

Anonymous said...

perhaps i should clarify..
'friend' is used so carelessly often these days..
maybe acquaintance is a better term for what i was/am..

oops.. breaking the silence!

BrendanGeorge said...

you mean it's not official when you are friends on facebook, I was pretty sure it was confirmed then, pretty sure...