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Six: Chapter One, Part 2

Updated on January 15, 2017
Everett Bradley profile image

Everett Bradley, convincingly or not, doesn't do much else other than write and read.

You see, I was invited to this party by my friend, Andrew, who had heard about it from a friend of his own, of who I do not know. So now that Andrew has left the party with a girl he met five minutes ago, I’m left to either “mingle with the singles” (a term that is as embarrassing to say as is the action it describes) or go home to my bottle of Honey Jack and drink myself into a lovely sleep. It takes me no time to turn right around and walk out the door without another goodbye.

I park outside my apartment, a run down one story room built next to others just like it. It’s not pretty, but at fifteen hundred per month it’s the only place I can afford at the moment. And I’m not a picky person. Upon opening the door, a strong odor of rotting Chinese food floats into your nose and you become acutely aware that the person who resides here isn’t exactly the most cleanly. And you’d be wrong about that. I’d love to clean my apartment, but I can’t get around to it, but at some point I’m going to devote some time towards reorganizing, scrubbing, and marking radiation zones for this tiny cube of a living space.

I reach my fridge and inside find leftover fast food, an unopened loaf of bread, milk that may or may not be past its recommended date, and my lovely lover. I grab the bottle and begin with some sips.

Andrew and I have been friends since I can remember. We both grew up in Strawman, South Dakota and have been through all the typical highs and lows. We’ve got a special bond in that sense. Lately I’ve been in a rut. Partially due to the fact that I cannot find a reason or purpose for any of the things I do in life, and partially due to the fact that I’m seeing Andrew, for the first time, in a romantic sense. So as usual I’m experiencing life’s typical lows. The only difference this time being that Andrew is not. In fact he is experiencing the exact opposite. He’s recently landed a job with some big time corporation and I feel left behind as he goes from girl to girl and ignores my problems. To make matters worse I’m in love with him. And if that isn’t enough, I can’t take myself seriously when complaining about these problems. And even if I could, that would be worse in that I’ve accepted that I fail myself. Myself as in my ego. I think of myself as a strong person who does not need the help of others emotionally, but rather can enjoy emotional support as a luxury. That kind of person, to me, does not take time out of their lives to complain about such petty problems like loves that aren’t being realized. Instead they would go out and fix the problems. This was what I was attempting to do at that party I was at earlier. Tell Andrew how I feel and go from there. But every time I’m presented with an opportunity to realize this goal, I fail myself. I become scared. “What’s the point? Does it matter? What if I fail?” I think to myself. My wonderful ego walks to Andrew and confesses everything clearly and with no hesitation. I fail that ego. I cannot bring myself to spill my feelings and their problems that come with them. If I understand how pathetic they are then think of how horrifically petty they must seem to others.

So if I cannot face my fears, if I cannot live as my own ego demands of me, if I cannot realize the wonderful idea of myself that I have dreamt up, then what do I do? I go from sips to gulps.

In the morning I wake up. Terrible headache, horrific smell coming from my alcohol-soaked clothes, and in a few moments vomit is going to be somewhere in my apartment. I race (crawl slowly) to my toilet and dispense the acidic-tasting liquid. I feel terrible as I raise my head to see Andro get further and further away from me. I just spent the last 30 minutes of my life walking with someone who only wanted to use me as a thing to put his seed in, only to have to endure a small conversation with his mother, the only person to replicate his angering fake smile to a similarity so exact you could say they had their mouths made of the same mold. I suppose you could say that, couldn’t you? A boy who, if I had not grown breasts larger than the other females my age, would not have said a word to me. A mother who teaches her youth to not reflect any emotion other than the most irritatingly false representation of happiness. That is all these people can be accounted for: false happiness. They do not see the significance in a log’s usefulness as a bridge across a river. They only see their own purpose in getting to the other side. They do not see the potential knowledge one can gain from a walk with another, but rather only the potential of physical relations with that person. A conversation is not knowledge. Simply walking is not knowledge. You must exchange your feelings and beliefs that are true to you, regardless of social expectations, for a relationship to be considered knowledgeable. Andro and I could have talked about the log and its spectacular efficiency for survival, even in death. But instead we said nothing other than the plans to walk in the first place. Did he care in what our walk, our relationship, had to offer? Or did he care about fulfilling that interaction because society tells him is desirable? To simply cross the log? Logic tells me the latter is true. I fail myself in not exchanging my beliefs for fear that it may have been too early, an embarrassment, to talk about such a thought that I hold as important to myself. And I fail myself in accepting the invitation to begin with. Now the sun falls and it is too late to enjoy the scenery of the river, so I must make the short journey to my home. At least I can enjoy the sunset along the horizon.


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