Friday, July 17, 2009

Melancholy Man

He haunted her with his phone calls, his visits and his incessant complaints. It was a daily litany she was forced to hear. After all, he would keep telling her there was no one for him and if he couldn’t pour out his over-brimming cup of woes to her, then he would possibly take the extreme step of ending his life.
As he sucked away at her energy on a daily basis, she felt as if a powerful vacuum cleaner was sucking her dry…of her energy, her compassion and her patience. Still she listened, as the same old sad stories would be narrated to her in boring, intricate detail. His sad childhood, his fragile relationships, how everyone had left him, how his work no longer excited him. And he hit the bottle with a vengeance. Large shots of rum chased down with endless cigarettes propped up his fragile ego, and stories of his miserable existence gave his life meaning. After all, if pity was the only way to gain attention, he was willing to milk it to the maximum. Night after dreary night, she braced herself to listen to the same sorry saga – bored out of her wits but scared to stop in case he did something drastic. The responsibility was overwhelming, suffocating her, making her want to rake her nails against the wall and scream. Could friendship extract such a heavy toll?
Till one day, she’d had enough and asked him to pull himself together. “Snap out of it,” she said. “Get your life back on track; give up the booze and stop wallowing in self pity.” The force of his anger astonished her. He lashed out like a scorpion, accusing her of being selfish, heartless and a bitch.
Something cracked irreparably. After having endured excruciating self-pity, mind-numbing soliloquies and sleepless nights, she decided she’d had enough. It was the death knell for a 15-year old friendship. She expected to feel sad, regretful or hurt but strangely, a heady feeling of freedom made her giddy with happiness. As for him, he found a new taker for his melancholic meanderings…

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