Chapter 1: Saturday

By: Zach


We used to be happy - or so I thought while again sitting at the table in silence repeatedly turning over the noodles wrapped loosely around my fork. I stared at them obsessively, fixated as every superfluous rotation continued to accomplish nothing. The end of the strand repeatedly hitting the plate. She sat silently at the other end, her eyes looking downward and lips firmly pressed in an expression that was either indifferent, miserable or some combination of the two. It was impossible to tell really and I suppose it didn’t matter. Maybe things were never good and the happiness that did exist was only an illusion - an idea initially created and perpetuated by both of us in an ineffective attempt to be normal, a simple continuation of the expected order of things.

Maybe it was purely chemical. A bond over a chance encounter, the right mix of pheromones at the right time, place and biological moment. I find myself continually questioning the choices I’ve made, wondering about alternatives and why are things different now than they were before. What is the point of any of this? A dangerous question to ask in a pointless world and one where if you have an inability to delude yourself with religious superstition is a lot harder to figure out. Maybe we should have had a child, at least there’s some precedence for biological purpose there - people with children do seem happy. At a minimum they have enough mindless daily tasks to keep them busy and their mind off of their own insignificance. I suppose I could have spent more time accumulating money though that’s kind of uninteresting in itself, but maybe I could have leveraged that towards getting the admiration of beautiful young women - that would have been worth it. My nihilistic internal monologue of self-loathing was interrupted when an emotionless statement arose from across the table, “We’re going to Mark’s garden party on Tuesday” she said without looking up to make eye contact. This was decidedly inconvenient - not only because I hated Mark, but because I had scheduled Tuesday for the day I planned to take one too many barbiturates that I had had stashed in the back of my nightstand. An activity I’d much rather partake in than another one of Mark’s self-aggrandizing pretentiously named ‘garden’ parties, but in the interest of relationship stability I’d have to reschedule - these garden parties are impossible to get out of.

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