When you stare into The Abyss, The Abyss stares back into you…
When you look away from The Abyss, it lowers its eyes, blushing.
While you’re in the washroom, The Abyss’ friend, Loneliness, comes over to our table to ask on its behalf whether or not you’re single. I tell her that yes, you are, though I point out that you may not be ready to get involved with something as serious as The Abyss considering what you’ve been through in your recent personal life.
Loneliness tells me that The Abyss is an adult anthropomorphic personification of nothingness, and as such that it can make its own decisions with regard to its personal life, that I shouldn’t worry about it one way or the other and let the two of you make your own decisions.
And I concede that Loneliness is right.
The Abyss has existed since before the dawn of time itself, and It will exist long after the universe has winked out of existence one star at a time, if there were anything capable of dealing with the enormity of your emotionally stunted bullshit, your drinking and inability to commit and your unwillingness to admit that you’re ever wrong, it’s The Abyss. And you, much though I question the choices you’ve made up to this point, are also an adult, and though I sometimes fear for you I know I can’t actually step in and live life on your behalf.
I can barely handle my own problems, after all. I have my shit together by a thread, and I’m clinging to that thread for dear life, I can’t be expected to fix you.
Much though I might want, I can’t fix you and it would be death to try.
You would be a pyre upon which I burned myself to death, if I let you…
So, when you come out of the bathroom, Loneliness, The Abyss and I are sharing a table, laughing over drinks.
The laughter is forced, you can tell it’s forced as you join us, it has that “whistling past the graveyard” quality that all forced laughter does its best to avoid. But you join us anyway.
You and The Abyss hit it off immediately, as though you were meant for one another, made for one another, and when the two of you leave together I can’t even pretend I’m surprised.
It just seems so natural, the two of you. As though it were meant to be, as though your whole life was pushing you toward The Abyss, and as the door swings shut behind you, I force myself to hope for the best.
Yes, this might just be a one-night stand brought on by the stresses of your recent personal life, a night of profound existential despair that, come morning, you can walk away from and start the work of putting your life back together, but I can’t help hoping it’s more than that.
Because I saw the way the two of you were together, you slumped over your drink, The Abyss looming over you, enclosing you, protecting you, and I think that if you play your cards right you could stretch this chance meeting with The Abyss out into a lifetime of ennui.
If you play your cards right.
I know it isn’t the life you’d wanted, but I suspect that by this point in your emotional development, or lack thereof, it’s the best you can reasonably hope for, and certainly all that you deserve. So as you go off, together, I cross my fingers for you and hope for the best.
Myself, I spend my night in the embrace of Loneliness, and hope as I do that future nights bring better things. But that’s okay.
Loneliness is the sort of company I’m used to, I can weather it gladly that you might have The Abyss that you want.
I’m a good wingman that way.