Ever have “What’s the point?” moments? The existential questions of why bother, what’s the point, does it really matter plague me and they don’t just flash by momentarily. I’d love having only the Flasher moment. I could avert my eyes, be repulsed and quickly shake the image out of my head. Nope, these questions squat, they invite themselves over, plop down on the sofa, eat all the leftovers, pile all their dirty dishes on the counter and feign deafness when you ask how long they planned on staying.You stand in the doorway between the kitchen and living room, surveying the disaster zone.
“I’m sorry, what did you say love?” The Critic distractedly says with both eyes still on the commercial for Franklin & Bash. His buddies Doubt and Worry pay me no heed.
“I wanted to know when you planned on leaving. I was expecting Hope and Joy and they were bringing their new friend, Pio (aka positive outlook). I need to get your mess cleaned up before they come.”
“Don’t mind us, hun. We’re fine. We’ll be out of here when the game is over.”
“But I want you out of here now. Go watch the game at someone else’s place; go bug them. Go to the Sports Bar, plenty of people familiar with hopelessness down there. I don’t want you. I didn’t invite you.”
And now he turns his full attention towards me, “Yes love, you did invite me. Maybe not this time but so many times before. You’ve had an open door. Always so welcoming and hospitable.” The unveiled sarcasm drops from The Critic’s words. “I quite like it here. We’ve been good friends, kept each other company, haven’t we?”
I stand there thinking. The mess, the constant attention and worry, feeding them to limit worse damage. Trying to keep them from feuding with each other or worse…bullying me.
“WE don’t keep each other company. You come over here and do this!” I point to the wet rings on my coffee table from their glasses. “And you’re right, I am very hospitable. But you are a bad guest, a rude guest. And I want you to leave. Now. I don’t need friends like you. Honestly….alone is better. Alone, I don’t have this mess to clean up and my things don’t get ruined.” I point to the dishes and clutter and slovenliness. “This isn’t your home. This is my home. You want to live and act this way…go to your own home. Go somewhere else.”
“But you’ll be all alone. What if Joy and Hope stand you up? You’ll come crawling back to me. You’ll beg me to come over. You HATE being alone.”
“I doubt that. While company sometimes seems better than solitude.” I turn and look around at the mess. “I would rather be alone than have company that keeps making this kind of mess for me to clean up. Get out.”
And slamming the door closed feels good. Sure, once the TV is off, the quiet room squeezes in. But I know I am right. Alone without Criticism, Doubt and Worry is better even if Joy and Hope never make it over.