Diagnosis: Apathy

It is that time of week again! I’m feeling particular inspired this week by two Tumblr blogs! SEEINSATIRE and DAILYWRITING PROMPTS. Even if you don’t have a Tumblr blog – these guys are definitely worth checking out if you’re a writer. SEEINSATIRE is literally one of the kindest and subtly brilliant people I’ve come to know there; and DAILYWRITINGPROMPTS is one of my go-to prompt blogs (outside of my own, which you can find here).

Inspiration for today is:

SEEINSATIRE:  “I just want to be the guy that left you better than he found you. It’s common courtesy.”

DAILYWRITINGPROMPTS:  You can add that to the list of things that no longer mean anything.

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2 Bedrooms, 1 bathroom, big yard; $550 monthly.

I remember when I moved in here with Patrick three years ago. We both dropped out of college and needed something to do – so we did each other. We got shitty jobs pushing carts and serving tables just so that when we came home we could ravage each other for no other reason than to say that we did. There was absolutely no restriction to our hungry passion…

At least there wasn’t. Eventually our work schedules started conflicting. Having sex, smoking pot, and getting drunk transitioned from pleasurable pastimes to inconvenient consequences. Living together on our own meant that bills came in and that money went out. I don’t know if we believed paying the bills would give us satisfaction but the cycle was repetitive. I dare to say that it was not unlike having AIDS. No matter how much we paid out – the disease of debt never went away. It was always there and it killed us slowly.

I can add that to the list of things that no longer mean anything – officially, at least.

Us.

Loving Patrick seemed like something I could do forever until I didn’t. Maybe he knew before I did that my love was gone. Maybe I knew and pretended I didn’t so that I wouldn’t have to find a new ailment in life. Of course, if I see my muses as illnesses then I’m probably the infection. Just another rash of apathy that eventually corrodes through every person that cares for me until such a time comes that there’s nobody waiting in line to be affected. In the end, I’m just another epidemic. Patrick realized it, though; he saw what a drain I am to myself and to him.

I never would have called our relationship parasitic, though. Patrick has the same romantic qualities I do: insufferable, manic depressive, unreliable, and sarcastic. On our best days we were mutually beneficial, but on our worst days a war zone may have resulted in less emotional trauma. Eventually we were bound to his a point of no return. Whoever found it first was going to be the one to solve whatever sick, obsessive problem we had with each other. Apparently the victor was him, and he convinced himself that the cure to our lethargy was to leave. At least he didn’t seem completely heartless when he let me go.

“I just want to be that guy that left someone better than I found them,” Patrick has a way with words that I find arousing and depressing simultaneously. It’s precisely why I fell for him in the first place. When we met, Patrick frantically whined about how high school sweetheart had killed herself after their break-up. As for me, I returned fire with my own sorrows. My parents were divorcing. My brothers were imprisoned for dealing meth, and I accidentally ran over my cat that morning in my moms rental car. So it wasn’t the best of times, but it wasn’t the worst of times either. It just ‘times’ to me. It was hard times if I had to call it anything. Patrick agreed.

Over the years, we found things out about each other. Abusive relationships, violent childhoods, and dysfunctional friends contributed to our off-putting attitudes and naturally offensive demeanors. Patrick got so emotional sometimes he’d repeatedly kick our couch until he couldn’t move, complaining that he’s just a fuck up. In the early days, I’d try to convince him that he wasn’t, but eventually even I gave up because that’s what I do. I give up. Maybe I learned that from my mother. Her resume of infidelity and failures is quite impressive.

Regardless of our fates, though, Patrick was being a man. He was saying what he needed to say, and doing what he needed to do to cure the lethargy in his veins. Maybe once I was a medicine to his aches but even the best anesthetics wear off. I was no better for him than I was for myself and in the end I can only say that it was a good decision.

“It’s common courtesy.” Don’t think I could have said it better myself, actually. Alls well that ends well when love takes an indefinite leave of absence. A trashy suitcase and a duffel bag slung over his shoulders were his only pieces of luggage when he took off. Our shared nothings remained behind and surround me now as I burn through his leftover New Ports. I’ll never know why he chose this brand and I guess I’ll never care either. That’s what happens when things lose their worth, their value – when they lack enough meaning to actually matter.

I don’t know where he’s going. I don’t know where I’m going. Tomorrow is just another day like today. It’ll start with skies so blue that I’ll swear I’m in a dream. There’ll be air so crisp and clean that I’d rather suffocate in the smog of a dying city than live in this shitty country cottage…

“Well this fuckin’ sucks.” I pluck the cigarette from chapped lips and put it out on an old picture of Patrick and me – we were kissing with bottles of beer in our hands. Too long I’ve gone without remembering how exciting that felt. Maybe nothing will ever be that exciting again. I don’t know.

So, maybe I don’t know anything about anything but I am convinced I am spot on.

This fuckin’ sucks.

But I don’t care.

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