It pains me. It pains me so much that I’m constantly throwing myself on the floor, crying out to the world all of my problems like some old Sicilian lady mourning the loss of her son. I don’t want some passersby to think, “Oh, Bryan, he’s dealing with some tough shit.” I mean, who wants to be “that guy?”
But you know what’s worse? Being referred to as, “Some poor gay kid off the street.” That’s definitely worse. I don’t really combat the description. I’m constantly clad in ragged toms knock-offs, ill fitting clothes and a patchy Hitler youth haircut that’s trying to be trendy; but ends up just being vaguely anti-semitic. “Some poor gay kid off the street.” But a friend? A friend you would call a bro in the most affectionate way possible? Nein!
The perpetrator of this vile generalization was my best-friend at the time’s boyfriend. I’ll refer to her as Cersei and him as Fish-Sticks. These are incredibly well fitting aliases for the pair.
Cersei, despite being overweight she still retained some of her high-school beauty. She had skin that almost porcelain. She had long carmel hair on one side, then when she flipped it was raven black. A hair-style too poetic for it to be fiction. Despite not bathing for days she had perfect skin and relied on the numerous Keratin treatments that her loaded parents would pass her way. She was one of those rich kids that is completely fucked up for being so rich. Her laziness and aimlessness sparked such vitriol in her parents that they rented an apartment for her to stay at on the other side of the Chicago despite having a five room house in Lakewood. Fish-Sticks, her boyfriend of six years, had the personality and appearance of a giant baby with a beard. He had the pale pink pigmentation commonly associated with someone who eats too many fried products with questionable amounts of mercury. Fish-Sticks was sensitive as a chafed nipple. Hanging out with him was a delicate game of diplomacy where one insult towards his D&D character would send him hurtling into a deep depression. He’d overlook his character sheet in dismay and mentally flog himself for putting so many points in swimming. I think he should be more worried about pouring so many years into a master’s degree in urban planning. But I got mine in playwriting so who am I to judge?
Even worse is his insecurity. He would see romantic liaisons in anyone of Cersei’s close group of friends and advisors. The target was now me as I was moving into Cersei’s lux high-rise, rent free. The tension was on but only in Fish-Stick’s mind, mind you because he lost his. He sparred with Cersei about the issue, without me there, per usual. Fish-Stick’s fantasy was barbarian but his reality was grade-A pussy. This produced the lovable, “So you’re just going to pick up any poor gay kid off of the street?”
She told me this while sitting on my roommate’s exercise ball while smoking a cigarette out of the window, the Norwegian American Hospital looming behind her. I was floored. Where was all this animosity coming from? He never told me that he had some beef with me before. I thought I remained copacetic. I would be at his apartment, consistently squinty and cotton mouthed, looking out the window as Cersei spun some lie about being late. Back at my apartment, despite not being a frontline witness to their petty quarrels, I did the same as I did anywhere. I reclined on my couch, almost odalisque, quieting my mind while my roommate’s girlfriend monologues incessantly about how to cover up bulimia.
Cersei hung up the phone. Another in a long list of phone-calls causing her to wonder if she should break up with the pathetic lump that consisted of Fish-Sticks. That’s when she told me the line, “You know he said, ‘Are you just going to house any poor gay kid off the street?’” I mouthed off a tirade, not unlike the one I’m currently typing, for pretty much the same reasons. I wanted Cersei to approve of the reaction I had. She wanted me to be angry. To galvanize the troops to stomp all over Fish-Stick’s choade and high-five each other for another douche destroyed. Our codependent relationship growing like a malignant prostate tumor. Sounding like pleasureable experience but in reality destroying everything.
The next couple of days, I bitched about it non stop, allowing my peers to validate whatever feeling I might be having in the moment, as I’m wont to do. But Cersei and my mutual group therapy asked the question, “Why is she telling you this now? Why didn’t she tell you a month ago when he originally said it?” I don’t remember if I made a half-assed excuse for Cersei or sagely nodded and agreed with the 30+ members of the group, only to eschew their advice in order to continue the validation-train that was the Cersei-Bryguy experience.
Soon after, against all the opinions of our group therapy that she was recently kicked out of and Fish-Stick’s whining: I moved in with her rent-free. It was a beautiful high rise deep within the south-loop. It was only a few blocks away from all of my classes and right next door to Target. It had free Starbucks brand coffee in the first floor computer room and a gym that I’ve never stepped foot in.
It would’ve been the most glamorous place I’ve ever had the privilege to stay in if it weren’t for Cersei being bat-shit crazy. Upon arriving in the apartment I saw an immense pile of dishes, some randomly filled with bleach. There was a salad of sorts of period stained underwear and sex-toys piled three feet high between her closet and her unkempt bed. I tried convincing her that we should tag-team cleaning the apartment. The mess mostly being hers, but that always just ended in bowl hits, Celebrity Apprentice reruns, and me filling her in on what was said about her in group therapy.
It finally took my mother coming to town to help me realize what an asshole Cersei always was. My mother drove eight hours from Ohio to come visit me and hangout in Chicago. I prodded Cersei incessantly to help me clean the apartment, never for her to budge. She cited that in exchange for moving in was that I’d keep the apartment tidy. But I couldn’t save the hoarder-esque hellhole that constituted that apartment. I refused to lift a finger until she lifted hers. And that’s the mess my mother came upon.
Over the phone I’d whine to my mom about Cersei, in which she’d respond, “I don’t care. She’s giving you a place to stay for free. She could demand you to lick her toes for all I care, you should say, ‘Yes, ma’am.’ and ‘How soaked do you want these piggys?’”
That’s until she walked in and Cersei introduced her to the dead plants that she named and still talked to on occasion. How she had to maneuver around old pizza boxes and unused (but still plugged in) phone cords. That’s when the weekend getaway she had planned in her mind vanished. She went full mom.
The whole weekend consisted of me and my mom scrubbing the strange congealed film out of the shower-floor while Cersei played League. My mom sorting through the horrific clothes pile as Cersei went out to “check out a cool couch my friend wants to give me.” She came back squinty eyed and dreamy. My mother and I spent the day steam-cleaning the floor.
The weekend consisted of Cersei delivering small jabs and unseeable condescension that my mother stood to bear witness. At the end of the olympic level janitoring that we did, my mother stood in front of me teary eyed. We were in the apartment’s parking-garage and I helped her carry out all of the cleaning supplies. I was planning on how I could subtly grab the eighth of weed out of Meredith’s car before I looked at my mom’s face. The tears gripping her eyelids tightly as to not show any remorse or worry. I don’t remember what we said to each other before she left unceremoniously. I went back upstairs to tell Cersei that my mother seemed upset. She flicked it off, “She’s probably just tired. You’re over analyzing things, you always think someone is secretly upset with you.” Which is true. No matter how many smiles, compliments, and smacks on the back I always think that someone is hiding some veiled resentment of me.
But I knew my mom was upset, I pressed the issue further until Cersei and I got into an argument. I laid in bed replaying the weekend over and over again as I listened to Cersei continue watching the just released fourth season of Arrested Development without me. A marked act of disrespect. Later we reconvened and made nice, deciding that my mother wasn’t upset at all and was just dreading the eight hour ride between Ohio and Chicago.
Later, upon another one of Cersei’s major stratagems involving moving some furniture out of storage, her father’s alleged outrage of me taking up so much space in the apartment (I.E a mattress, a suitcase of clothes, and my desktop computer.) My mother revealed that she cried the whole way home after the weekend that was pretty much a brand-new episode of How Clean is Your House? She didn’t cry over how she was stripped of the fun weekend she had planned with her son. Not over the fact that for three days she was an unpaid maid. She was only upset over all the insults and jabs that Cersei peppered me throughout the weekend Mom and I cleaned her shit-hole apartment. How I let a friend make my mother cry, disrespected her so fully, and to gaslight me so intensely angers me to this day. What makes me more angry? That I let this bougie-bitch back in my life multiple times after this happened upsets me even more.
Throughout my stay she still dated Fish-Sticks out of mixture of loyalty and pity. She called Dr.Drew in the middle of the night under the alias of Soraka, a League of Legends character she felt a kinship with. Cersei had an intense case of penis envy. Constantly bemoaning her lack of a dick. When perusing the dark recesses of the internet, searching for LoL oriented hentai, she came upon a trend involving Soraka. Fans of the moon priestess fancied her secretly having a huge purple penis swinging between her hooves. Her pale jade eyes widened when she told me, “Isn’t that interesting?”
“Couldn’t she just fuck people with her unicorn, her huge gold staff, or the banana shaped projectiles she shoots?”
“Bryan,” Cersei said, “I keep telling you it’s not the same as having a big, pulsating, fleshy dick ramming someone.”
Cersei AKA Soraka told Dr. Drew over his radio show that she considered telling Fish-Sticks that she was breaking up with him due to his allegedly microscopic penis. Dr.Drew emphatically told her no, that that would ruin the rest of Fish-Stick’s life. She still wasn’t convinced. I’m about eighty percent sure she told Fish-Sticks about his comically small fish-stick being the breaking point of their relationship.
He probably attributes me for being the downfall of their relationship. Despite being a person who, after years of emotionally distancing myself from the whole fiasco that was the Cersei years, would still bestow upon him the moniker of Fish-Sticks.
I was blind to how sad my life has become, due to the fact that she was the first friend I made after committing myself to the Norwegian Medical Center in Humboldt Park for suicidal ideations. She enthusiastically offered to be my phone buddy and drove me to Jimmy Johns on my first day of group therapy.She was there to console me when my Grandma died. Her serious narcissistic personality disorder and sociopathic tendencies came off as zany and amusing to me. It’s one of my worst character flaws. Someone could literally admit to burning down an occupied orphanage and I’d invite them over for pizza.
“So you’re just going to take in any broke gay boy?” Was a surprisingly apt response to Cersei and my living situation. When I moved in, I stopped being Bryan, but a faceless lackey for her to constantly piddle on. An imaginary tax write-off. Maybe, while staring at me the way a cat would stare at a jangling piece of yarn, she imagined herself as a Grace Kelly of the gays. Fostering a wayward homo in hopes of structuring him to blossom into a Carson Daily or Anderson Cooper. But in reality being a rainbow colored emotional colostomy that she could transfer all of her parents’ disappointment directly into me. Cersei has, apparently, overcome her slothessnesh. Her father, in another one of his endless investments in creating a productive member of society out of Cersei, paid for an accelerated app development boot-camp. Cersei is now working for a app development company somewhere in the heart of the Chicago. A stark contrast to my worthless bachelor’s and part-time job at a Kroger’s gas station.
Being a live-in gay for this asshole was definitely one of the many low-points in my life. Without realizing it, I became one of those gross homosexuals that parade around Bravotv, desperately clinging to their Judy for any amount of fame or recognition. It’s a position that I constantly find myself in. Riding on the coat-tails of some girl who obviously has some serious issues. But I guess no-one would ever moniker me as Fish-Sticks in a passive-aggressive personal essay, so there’s that.