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.