My Friend

My friend, your irresponsibility and your unhappiness delight

me. Your financial problems and your expanding waist-line are a

constant source of relief. I am so happy you drink more than I do

and that you don’t seem to enjoy it as much. When I hear you

being arrogant and argumentative, my heart leaps. Your nihilism

is fast becoming the richest source of meaning in my life and it is

my pleasure to watch you speaking harshly to others. When you

gossip about our mutual acquaintances I sigh with satisfaction.

Your childish impatience delights me. The day you threw a

tantrum in the middle of the supermarket was the happiest day

of my life. Sometimes you say something which reveals you to be

rather stupid—and I love you then, but not as much as I love you

when you are callously manipulative. Your promiscuity is like a

faithful dog at my side. When you talk about your petty affairs,

you try to make them sound grand and important — I cherish

your gaucheness and your flippancy. At times it seems you are

actually without a sense of humour: I bless the day I met you.

You bully people younger and weaker than you — and when others

tell me about this, I am pleased. Sometimes I think you are

incapable of love— and I am filled with the contentment of waking

on a Saturday morning to realise I don’t have to go to work. I

often suspect that you do not even like me and my laughter

overflows like water from a blocked cistern.

from The Migraine Hotel (Salt, 2009), © Luke Kennard 2009, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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