I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s because I let people talk for uninterrupted periods of time. Maybe it’s because I pretend to give a shit so often I’m damn good at it. Whatever it is, people tend to tell me stuff (truly amazing stuff you’d have to devise the most horrific torture to get out of me) and want me to support them in their endeavor.
It’s usually acquaintance types who do that so I guess that’s some of the explanation. Don’t get me wrong, I do things for my actually friends too but those things lean more towards lifting, hiding, or disposing of heavy things. They know better than to tell me their deepest, darkest demons unless they need a laugh about it.
They’d never do something like want my shoulder to cry on during a divorce. Those people are more likely to run their plans for revenge past me to see if I can find flaws. But the acquaintance type needs to use me to vent. Sorry, spunky, I ain’t a heat exchange, peddle you’re piddling ass problems elsewhere.
That’s not to say I won’t be there because I will. I don’t mind helping someone in crisis as long as they don’t mind my using their sadness as fodder. It’s not really an even exchange (I have to sit there sometimes for hours without shaking whereas they don’t help write my bit about it) but one I’ve resigned myself to enduring.
This acquaintance has been talking about his pending divorce for what seems like longer than he was married. I listen and nod and try to see if there are any flaws in my revenge plans. And, truly, I don’t mind. As long as there are rules. Rule, actually. That rule states, you come to me. I don’t go to you. I don’t go with you. I don’t actually do anything. Seems fair. If you’re going to beat on my ear drum all day I shouldn’t have to travel to get the pounding.
“Would you come to a support meeting with me?”
Are you unaware of the only fucking rule about me helping you, spunky?
“It’d mean a lot to me.”
What was that? I can be mean a lot to you?
Of course we all know I went. I’ve never been to any type of support meeting. I don’t even wear underwear, that’s how little support I need!
We walk into this room and it’s full of whiny, complaining, ex-hating twits. They ruined my life! They got my house! They weren’t the person I married.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And right across town your ex is saying the same shit about you. Roll with it or get rolled over, chuckles.
When we were trying to sit it turned out there were only single seats. He’s hesitant so I pushed him in the direction of a seat between a crying woman and a guy who was rocking back and forth. I found a seat between two guys who were glaring straight ahead. My peeps!
I’m listening to the stories and, yeah, okay, fine. Life didn’t work out the way you planned. Do you think I wanted to be doing this for a living? Do you think I want to be here? Do you think I’m not having a heck of a time stopping myself from laughing right out loud?
As time goes on people start to whine down. The leader looks around and sees that everyone’s had a handful of snivel snacks. Except me. He starts to ask why I came and I don’t want to make my acquaintance seem even more of a whiny maggot than he is so I say I’d rather not discuss it.
Turns out that’s like waving black eyeliner at a goth.
“I’ve been listening to everyone’s stories and I feel for you all, I really do.” I always say that when I really don’t. Gives an air of care, don’t ya think? “But that’s not me.” I can tell they’re trying to have me shed some light on my darkness but I stop them. I guess the only thing I can do to get them to stop badgering me is to come clean.
“Besides, the only reason I’m here is for the alibi.”
You’d think a conglomerate of gloom like this, with revenge fantasies in their heads, would find that, if not funny, at least a damn good idea.