Because everything has to start somewhere…

Hunched over his crumpled self esteem – an esteem that, had it been a live birth, wouldn’t have made it much past term – he found the deepest, darkest, smallest corner of the room, and curled himself up in it. Wearing a look of woebegone usually reserved for only the damned and the dead men walking, he muttered under his breath while hoping that the darkness of the corner, the smallness of it all, would simply squash him into oblivion. Had you the same proximity as the hatred he so carefully nestled, you might even hear his moaning, “you stupid mother fucker! You piece of shit! You animal – you’re a waste of human flesh, you dumb ass moron ugly trash idiot! I hate you, you’re fucking pointless, pointless, POINTLESS!”

He spent far too many days beating himself up like this. The words, having initially come from without, were now originating from deep within. The opinion that had been that of another’s had now become his own. The hate, the pain, the abuse, now it was all his, and he nurtured and cared for it much more than he did himself. He hated that damned corner, and the monster that forced him into it – but he almost loved it as well, needing it to survive. In short and to be brutally honest, Clive was an unholy and miraculous mess. A playground in the making for the spirits to come.

His friend Douglas, however, faired a bit better. He did so for several reasons, the most important of which being that his parents hadn’t been quite so successful at destroying him early on. That’s not to say that they didn’t try, but Douglas (he insisted upon the use of his full name – “Doug” garnered you a punch in mouth) had an almost inbred tenacity, a certain strength that seemed almost spiritually imbued. And maybe it was. Hell, stranger things have happened. It was with this strength that Douglas knocked briefly upon Clive’s door; not waiting for a response before opening it effortlessly, allowing the light to burst into the heavily curtained tomb. A light that almost recoiled when it finally reached the deepest, darkest, smallest corner of it, to find Clive there waiting.

He was broken from his task of diligent self destruction not by the encroaching light, but rather by Douglas’ booming, yet gentle voice “Clive, come on man. You can’t keep doing this to yourself. You’re better than this. Friend, your old man is long dead, would ya please let his words die too? Finally?” “I know Douglas, I know” Clive responded meekly – doubly so when compared to Douglas’ robust tone – “But sometimes the attacks just come. Sometimes it’s like my brain is swelling inside… Itching, and trying to bust out all over the damned floor. Sometimes I just can’t help it. Sometimes I… Oh, I don’t know, it just feels like sometimes I want to kill myself. I really wish I could. And then I get all pissed because I’m too weak to do even that. I’m just too weak… too damned weak.” “Clive, you scare me man. Honest to Christ in heaven, you really do” responded Douglas, shaking his head demonstratively as he reached out to offer a hand up to his friend “C’mon, let’s get out of this damned “doom n’ gloom’ room of yours, and go grab a bite to eat. It’ll do you some good.”

There were two things to keep in mind about Douglas. First, he always started a statement by addressing the person he was speaking too. Some said it was respectful, others thought it cute, but most everyone who had to endure a long conversation with him just ended up thinking it was damned irritating. The second thing was that for Douglas, food cured all. Whether it be your heart, body or soul that was hurting, a warm burger and fries would make it all better. Faster still if cheese was involved. This second inclination of Douglas’ irritated Clive. He was not nearly as hungry as Douglas always seemed to be, and he had never allowed himself the pleasure of actually feeling warm cheese simply slither joyfully down his throat. Much like most other things in his life, hunger was only a burden, eating, simply a task. Something to be done just to get on with his life – a life that he didn’t want to live. A life he was too scared to end. Interestingly, towards Douglas’ first tendency, Clive liked it very much. The constant repetition of his name being called out was comforting. Like a repeated pat on the head, or a caress to an ego wafer thin, it made him feel like at least someone – anyone – knew he was alive. Knew he existed. And maybe that was exactly why Douglas did it. Or maybe not. Who knew? One thing was certain, there was no time to question the oversized overly-intelligent loaf about that now, as Douglas was hungry, and there were cheeseburgers waiting.

© t – 2o12


Well, here it is and here it begins. Please be so kind as to leave any constructive criticism and/or comments below…

12 thoughts on “Because everything has to start somewhere…

  1. And it’s a very good start! I’m completely drawn in. No criticism here, constructive or otherwise, (other than the Devo song LOL ;) ) But it is a very good choice to go along with this story … It’sa makin my head hurt for sures ;)

  2. This is the start of a grand friendship. Toils of the pain and suffering of one who knows better, but cannot rise above the abyss he believes is his own. Always well written.

    I’ve a friend who drives truck that says most parents simply bring us into the world, many do their best to make sure it will be hell.

  3. Well done, t! I love that you’ve written Douglas as one of those name using people. It drives me NUTS when people use my name over and over again in a conversation. Can’t wait to see where you take these guys :-)

  4. Powerful. Tender. Woeful. Even a bit of humor. Splendid writing. One observation: you use the word irritating and the word irritated three lines later. The repetition caught my attention. I loved reading this since it snagged me by the heart.

    Sorry to bother you on this matter. I have a silly request. Please read today’s post on my blog about The Bradley Chronicles. I’d appreciate it if you could read it and then vote for my segment. You’ll see what I mean. Thanks in advance, Fay

    • Thank you, and thanks for the advise! I do need to watch my word usage (as I was telling another writer, I also struggle with comma overload).

      I checked out your “plea” as well, and will be glad to help!

  5. t this is awesome, I have no idea how I missed this post. I love what you are doing here, especially with Clive. The way you show how he is beaten down really emmulates a lot of the first hand reports of this stuff, like cold shiver detailed. The accompanying music is a pefect match. When you are depressed and have low or no self-esteem it really makes you vulnerable to attacks. You’ve captured it well here. Oh, I’m probably to comment on your next 2 chapters too, sorry for so many comments.

    • Thanks man – and please – no need to apologize about too many comments. I’m a firm believer in the Liberace Approach: too much of a good thing is WONDERFUL!

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