I find it odd that on the pack of my cigarettes Malboro® decides to put 'Thanks for celebrating 50 years of flavor'. Yes, the flavor of cancer I've chosen is Blend No. 27. It would have been more apt for them to have said something like, 'Thanks for killing yourself slowly with Malboro®'. However, it doesn't stop me from smoking. A pack a day at most… cough Attractive isn't it? I must be the most horrible smelling person on the planet by now.
I reek of tobacco day in and day out. My breakfast? A couple of cigarettes before work, a pot of coffee… hold sugar… hold cream… black as night. I don't talk much, mostly because there's not anything nice to say. My mother has always said to me as I'm sure every mother has said: If you don't have anything nice to say…
You know the rest.
Most of my free time is spent in seclusion, walled up in my apartment… you know… basically cut off from the outside world. The insanity, as I refer to it. I don't need the outside world. I need all the alone time I can get. What makes me so bitter? Oh, I don't know. It would be impossible to pinpoint where it actually happened. It was gradual; I didn't wake up one day and scream "Fuck you, world!" It was a series of events… I suppose. Maybe it was just life in general. Maybe it was just how I was born.
You can assume I was one of those kids that was teased a lot in school, or had horrible parents, poor environment… etcetera, but it really wasn't any of those things. My mother raised me the best she could. I've never met my father unless you count the last visitation when I was four years old, but it was really no loss to me. When I got older my mother told me about him and asked me if I wanted to meet him.
I told her no. 'No, I don't want to meet him.' She told me he was a chronic alcoholic, drug abuser, cheating bastard and so on. Irresponsible, she said. That was putting it lightly. She also informed me that he had other children, but he was in their lives. Funny, that. He had kept in touch with them but neglected me. Hmmph. I suppose that could be a factor to why I'm so bitter but I didn't really miss him or think about him too much when I was growing up.
I didn't have many friends to speak of, but it didn't seem to bother me. I liked being alone. I had a good imagination as a child and was fine by myself. I have good memories… of what I can recall and nothing was really out of place. I had everything I needed, so you couldn't really blame it on my parent(s), environment or 'other' if you will.
I've always been pretty quiet, kept to myself these years and it has served me just fine. After college I got a job at a very boring law firm. They take cases strictly from insurance companies. Bored, yet? I'm just a secretary. I do minor filing, appointments, official letters… the list goes on and on. It's repetitive but it pays well. I have an apartment on the fourteenth floor of a newly refurbished apartment building downtown that is as far away from my mother as I could get.
She calls often, asking how I'm doing, if I've eaten enough, if the boss is treating me okay and so on. She likes to ramble about this and that, gossip about people I don't know, tells me about Grandpa's many illnesses and begs me to visit as soon as I can. I rarely do. I like my quiet life. If it weren't for my job and the need for smokes, I'd probably never leave the house. I just don't like people. They annoyed the hell out of me. After spending day in and day out with lawyers, you tell me if you enjoy the company of others after all that bullshit.
I had enough fake smiles, bone-crushing handshakes, and saying "I'm sorry, Mister Hanley is with a client right now, can I set up an appointment for you?" There were so many days that I could have just snapped at the drop of a hat and screamed, "No, the snake's in his office fucking his client right up the ass… No, I'm sorry, it's his job. Can I take a message? Or should I put you down for the same?!"
Alright… a little bitter doesn't cover it. Very bitter. I am very bitter. However, I didn't quit my job just like I stuck with the cigarettes. Smoking kept people away and I had to have a job to pay for the protective bubble of cigarette smoke that was my shield against a sea of non-smoking assholes.
Alright, I lied. I'm not completely alone here. I have a dog. His name is Max, a husky/wolf mix. Yes, I know they don't allow him in the city, but he has enough husky in him that people would just assume and move on. No quarrels. He is a million times friendlier than I am and has gotten me into more unwanted conversations than necessary whilst walking him through the park. I won't get rid of him, though. He's the only one I respect and allow in my presence for extended amounts of time. The perfect companion. He doesn't speak, doesn't complain, and he's house trained. More than you can say for most human beings.
I don't do much outside of work. I walk Max once in the morning and twice in the evening. He likes his little conversations with other dogs and even talks to a few people as well. Allow me to reiterate: much friendlier than me. In truth, I get out more often than for the need for smokes and work because of Max. After his walks I sit down in front of my computer and draw. That's one of my favorite things to do. I draw comics and post them on the internet. I won't say they're the best. It's based on a character not unlike myself; a very angry bitter man and his encounters with the human race.
I get strange reviews saying how funny they are and how much people laugh when they read them and blah blah blah… Thing is, they aren't supposed to be funny. In any case it's just something to pass the time. It's either that or watching television and I'm not in the mood for that very often. Sitcoms, dramas, movies, everything has people in them. I've already said how much I hate people, right?
If you met me you would understand. I even look like I hate people. I'm presentable enough I suppose. I have short, slightly spiky light brown hair and the usual brown eyes. I'm tall if you think five-eleven is tall. I'm pretty clean cut but will scowl if you approach me and foolishly decide to strike conversation. I'm intimidating, or so I've been told. I don't do the 'smile' thing. Only at work do I attempt it and it's always false mirth. I really don't think I have a genuine smile and probably never had one in all my twenty-seven years. I'm just not the smiling type.
I have a decent evil smirk though. I use it often when the guy from the third floor office tells me to hold the elevator. I never will. Funny thing is, even though I do this to him every morning he will still smile at me and try to make small talk. Everyday he wishes me 'Good Morning!" or "Goodnight!" or whatever else he chose to say out of his ever flapping mouth.
In the beginning I would snap at him and tell him to save it, that I wasn't in the mood for talking to idiots, but now I just ignore and endure. I find his dismay amusing. I love to torture people and he just won't stop being so cheery and nice. I find the look on his face when the elevator doors close on him every morning especially amusing. More than that, he always would have been just in time had I not pressed the close doors button.
Yep. My name should have been Angry McBitter instead of Clyde Reynolds. But it's not.