Was I jealous? Maybe. I’d like to pat myself on the back and think that I fought her so devotedly just to save my friend from being succumbed by this.. this creature of a woman. I can’t say that with a straight face though. I did feel this eery attraction. I wanted Mary for myself. For some reason I felt connected to her. Not that teeny, star crush connection. No, a real connection. Like we were meant for each other. I watched in envy as my friend dedicated his life to Mary. From a distance I lurked, observed and wept as Sal fell deeper and deeper into the darkness. I’m talking hellish darkness here. He was an empty vessel of a man after a month. Barely human after two. During the third month he was so consumed with Mary that he barely left her side even for a second. Her influence on him was just so obvious. Everybody but Sal noticed it. He wouldn’t have any of it when we confronted him about it. He was seduced by her and long-lost in the mist of alcohol and pills by now and Mary’s presence only seemed to embrace that side of him. She liked this version of Sal, the typical “hurt poet”. That she pushed him towards an early grave didn’t seem to bother her at all. All this time, I battled my own emotions towards Mary. A part of me hated her for what she were doing to Sal, another part of me.. well.. let’s just say that my dreams weren’t meant for the eyes of children’s. I obsessed about her. I saw myself my in her. In my mirror, I saw her reflection. We had so much in common. At times I even recognized myself in Sal, but just for brief flashes, like the snap of a finger. Eventually, my and Sal’s mutual friends abandoned me as well. I got weird excuses as to why they did it. They claimed that they couldn’t stand by idle while I slowly killed myself. That I had lost myself to the drugs. I was worried about those comments since to me, it was pretty obvious that Sal was the one in trouble, not I. They were probably just under too much pressure. Or maybe they had been eagerly waiting for an opportunity to leave Sal and me behind. Shit, I don’t know.
So there I was. Alone. Sal had Mary and Mary had Sal. My minor crush on Mary quickly turned into a full-blown obsession. Not a minute passed without me thinking about her. Sal was more liquids and pills than human and Mary was this angel. Sent by god to save him. I hadn’t seen it at first but it was obvious to me now. He didn’t deserve her. He was pathetic, and I hated him because of that. I began drinking a lot, sometimes with the complementary pill as a side dish. I stayed up late at night doing nothing. Had a constant headache. Weeks went by. Then one of my former friends popped by for a visit. When she saw the state of me she was horrified. She actually fell to her knees crying. Little did I care, I mean, why should I care? She had left me stranded. So I stood there, watching her. I wasn’t about to go out of my way to comfort a traitor. After a while she stopped crying and looked up at me and said something about me being blind and in denial. Again I felt like she was mistaken me for Sal. I pointed this out to her and she shot me a look. I’ve never seen a more complex look in my entire life. She asked me if I were being serious and had another cry. After a while I turned my back on her and left here there, on the porch. This marked a new era. An era of constant interruption. Every day former friends, co-workers and girlfriends knocked on my door. Some of them cried. Others just yelled at me. All of them seemed to mistake me for Sal and it was beginning to annoy me. They should be having those talks with him, not me. I was constantly intoxicated and had lost track on time. Perhaps I was depressed. I don’t know.
©Alexander Berg Mattsson, 2012