There is an angry little monster that I take with me everywhere I go. Or rather, he follows me everywhere I go. He’s dark grey with a personality to match. He is gloomy and negative, a pessimist in every sense of the word. He’s a bad friend who won’t leave me alone but refuses to help when I ask.
Today, I am at work. I sit at the front desk of a quiet office on the Portland waterfront. I am one of the first people here this morning. It’s cold today, and the first real rain of the season fell early this morning. I have less and less to do every day when I come in, but still I arrive with a determination to accomplish something worthwhile.
“Why do you even come here?”
I look over to glare at Monster only for a moment; I don’t want to give him the satisfaction of a response. He wears a smug look on his hairy little face. He knows he’s bothered me. I shake my head and turn back to my computer and open a new document. Today I’m going to write, I decide. I type a few words, then erase them, then type a few different words. I stop, stumped. I rack my brain for the right words, but when they don’t come, I calmly close the document and take a sip of coffee. I’ve decided to start later.
“Quitter,” Monster calls me.
“No I’m not,” I say.
“Then why did you just give up, you quitter?”
Angrily, I reopen the document and start again. I throw a look of disgust toward Monster and hope that it makes him feel like garbage. Quickly and without hesitation, I scramble through a paragraph. I turn to Monster as if to say “See?”, but he is already stifling a laugh.
“Ha! It’s not even good! God, you’re stupid,” and Monster grins as he says this. He looks rather pleased with himself. In a fury, I pile out of my chair, doing my best to knock it into his knees in doing so. I stomp off to the bathroom. From the toilet, I hear the door squeal before I see his stupid hairy feet take up residence outside the stall. He taunts me while I sit there, making fun of my belly and my thighs. As I swing open the stall door, he makes a nasty comment about my eyeliner. I know it’s uneven, and I certainly didn’t need reminding. I punch him in the stomach and he doubles over. Momentarily satisfied, I head over to the sink and give myself a quick smile. I don’t look half bad today. From behind me, Monster reminds me that I didn’t shower this morning and my hair looks greasy and frizzy because of it. As quickly as it came, the joy drains from my features.
Most days go like this. Some days he’s easier to ignore than others. Sometimes after a few hours, I forget that Monster came with me, and I can enjoy a few minutes’ peace. Other times, he talks directly into my ear all day long about whatever he thinks will anger me the most. He blames me for killing my thirteen-year-old cancer-stricken dog, and sometimes I believe him. He calls me names, bashes my talents, and distracts me at every chance he gets. He is annoying and mean and I just can’t get rid of him.