disclaimer: i do not own rent. i just wish i did. :)) (rent is AWESOME) well i guess i own elaine, the random minor character in the story. :))
author's note: no spoilers as far as I can see. I apologize for any inconsistencies or things that are out of character. hopefully there isn't but if ever there is, refer to this note. :)) This is just what I think a horrendous breakup would look like.
The Event, Mark, and Her
Mark never got drunk.
Mark never got drunk. Ever. On the few occasions he had actually gone out and partied with the denizens of New York, his role had always remained Mr. Designated Driver. On the first week following The Event (as I know call it for lack of a more creative term), he snuck into Collins' secret stash of beer and finished every last bottle. It was certainly a shock for me to see him in a drunken state when I came home that first night.
He was a quiet drunk, I had to give him that.
He hiccupped, sniffled, shed a few tears, sniffled some more then passed out on the couch. He woke up to a nasty hangover, ran to the toilet, puked his guts out, went back to the oddly Mark-shaped groove on the couch and started all over again. He did the exact same thing for seven days. Any attempt I made at conversation failed as he never once replied, as though he had lost the habit of speaking.
Or showering, for that matter.
Did I almost forget to mention that he sobbed into Her sweater all throughout that week? The only change on the fourth day was when he tossed Her sweater out in the trash and began to gorge himself with enormous amounts of Cherry Garcia-flavored ice cream. That was until he realized that it had been Her favorite flavor too.
(Her name shall not be mentioned in this household. Which is why I refer to her as Her. And if you're wondering what The Event is, let's just say it was a humongous blow to Mark's overall sense of manliness.)
Mark had always appreciated the minute sense of creativity that pervaded chick flicks but was never a huge fan of them. On that horrible first week, when he wasn't crying and drinking, he was watching endless reruns of When Harry Met Sally and Bridget Jones. The only thing that got him out of this mindless stupor was the snapping of his glasses after he accidentally sat on it during one of the scenes of Clueless. He hasn't bought a new pair yet and so he currently has masking tape wrapped around the middle of his glasses, making him look like a modern day Harry Potter.
Then there was the incident with Elaine.
She's this elderly woman who lives across our apartment and bears a slight resemblance to Her in the sense that for her age, she's extermely vibrant and alive. She came by recently and asked how Mark was doing. (She too, was aware of The Event.)
To avoid bursting into tears, he ran right back into the apartment, leaving Elaine standing in the corridor with a confused yet understanding look on her face.
Apparently, Mark can't stand the sight of her face anymore as it reminds him too much of Her. Well in fairness, everyone in the female race does at this moment in time. Or the sound of any female voice, probably because he listened and replayed her voice messages over and over again until every intonation is now stuck in my mind. It only ended when I yanked the cord of the answering machine.
'mark, we need to talk. mark, we need to talk. mark, we need to talk.'
Over and over again. I'm convinced that 'we need to talk' is most probably the worst combination of words ever devised in the English language.
Then there was yesterday when I (the wonderful best friend) urged him to fill up his time with more than just tears. Picking up his camera didn't seem to be working out for him somehow, probably because most of his footage was of Her.
Her cooking, Her singing, Her dancing, Her laughing, Her everything.
New hobbies would fill the void, I suggested firmly. Get back to your filming, or try something new. He rejected the idea for a few hours until I had to physically drag him off the couch to get him moving. In hindsight maybe it wasn't the best idea to send him out into the world.
His first stop: the local bookstore. He left dejected and empty-handed as he realized the 'Moving On from the Girlfriend Who Dumped You for A Woman' for Dummies book didn't exist. Or maybe it did and way too many people had bought it. He hoped it was the latter, seeing as misery loved company and company (aside from me) was something he sorely needed.
He then went off to the local Jewish Center and signed up for a yoga class after reading a flyer extolling its health benefits. Due to scheduling difficulties and the popularity of the class, he ended up as a partner for one of the pregnant women at the La Maze: The Gift of Life class.
He finally ended up at a nearby Chinese restaurant, clinging to a cup of tea, willing himself not to cry. Then he realized he had no money to pay for his solitary cup of tea, thus leading him to run off into the night with a Chinese waiter right at his heels, screaming at him in Chinese and throwing chopsticks at his head. (All this I know because of his vivid retelling when he got home last night. If anything, it was great to hear him talk again.)
Poor Mark, what a horrible week he's had.
This morning, Mark is still sleeping, passed out on the couch from his travails of the night before. It's a shame to see him like this. Usually, he's the one who has to get me out of my depressed state, which I know isn't the easiest thing in the world. Our lives here in New York aren't perfect but somehow Mark always sees the beauty and freedom of it. Coming from an almost picture perfect (one must say boring) Jewish family, New York was a whole new experience for him, full of bright lights and mysterious circumstances. It's odd, to see the situation reversed. I can only hope that I can do for him what he has always done for me. They say all wounds heal with time and hopefully in this case it is true. If not, well let's just say I'm gonna pay Her a visit some time soon.
I'm leaving my guitar in the apartment next to him while I take a walk in Central Park for a while. Hopefully he'll take it as a sign to do something with his time. However painful, I really do hope that by the time I get back, he'll be on his feet, awkwardly strumming the strings of my guitar, making up some horrible breakup song.
Well that or a slow corny pop ballad. Whichever works for him.
Hopefully you enjoyed it. Please review! :D