[Apologies for the Russian accent to any readers from Eastern Europe, but my subconscious was formed during the Cold War]
A dialogue between Earnest the Sinner and Lecher, the personification of addiction. Continued from Sex 207. Loving Life
Earnest: Yo, Lecher! Why you gotta do me like that?
Lecher: Hey Sinner, why you blaming me? You’re the one who called me up so you didn’t have to deal with The Other Guy.
L. Y’know, the anxiety you’ve been running away from with video games and alcohol before I got involved. Same one you used books to escape before you even knew I existed.
I turn and see someone who looks like Thunderbolt Ross’s Red Hulk.
Fortunately sitting quietly on a folding chair with his hands on his lap.
Though I’m not sure how it bears his weight.
Especially since I clearly can’t.
E. Um, hello? Can… you… understand.. me?
L. Uh, dude, he isn’t an idiot, even if he isn’t a Leader like you.
Ang replies in a soft Russian accent.
A. It is all right. I am, how you say, a foreigner. It does help me to understand if he speaks slowly.
E. Um. Thank you. So, ah, where exactly are you from?
A. I come from limbic system. Reptilian brain. Below my cousin amygdala. I think… what you call hypothalamus.
E. Ah. I see. So… welcome?
A. I do not think so.
A. You were asking question, no? It is clear I am not welcome here.
L. He’s got you there, Earnest. That’s why you called me to barricade the doors. You didn’t want him to get another “hand on the wheel.”
I am a bit embarrassed by this, not to say nervous. But Ang does not seem angry. Or really any emotion, unless it is a certain stoic sadness.
E. Ah… sorry about that, Ang.
Ang replies with an indifferent shrug. I don’t whether that means he doesn’t care, or simply doesn’t feel like talking.
E. So… what brings you here?
Ang turns to look at Lecher.
Lecher has the grace to actually blush, which I don’t think I ever seen before.
L. Well… actually I invited him in.
I mean, I know you told me to keep him out.
But I felt kinda bad for him.
I know what it’s like to be kept out in the cold.
And, y’know, I feel like we’ve become friends.
Or at least, uh, colleagues who can work together.
So I thought… maybe we could include him too?
Ang is visibly uncomfortable during this monologue.
Is he feeling… shy?
I turn to Lecher with… wonder?
E. You… compassion? Courage?
I don’t think I’ve ever seen that side of you before.
L. [looking down, embarrassed] Well, y’know, it is part of my job.
Both are necessary for seduction, after all.
[suddenly defiant] But that doesn’t mean they aren’t real!
E. Hey, no judgement here!
I’m just impressed, that’s all.
And… thank you for having faith in me.
Lecher grins, now also shy.
I turn back to Ang.
E. I’m sorry, Ang.
Old habits die hard.
Welcome to… this place, whatever it is.
Ang looks down at his hands.
Clearly he does not feel welcome.
Nor am I entirely comfortable having a rampaging monster as a guest.
A. Not guest. Team member.
Oops. I guess since this is my mind, he can actually hear my unspoken thoughts.
A. Da. Is true.
E. Um, then why do we even bother talking?
A. Because you cannot hear mine.
E. Ah. Okay. Listen, I really do want to listen to what you have to say, but I got this thing I need to do…
A. Is okay. I wait.
Not the answer I was… never mind.
E. Sigh. Okay. Thank you.
I… I guess I’m still not very good at this.
But I realize you are important — even essential — and I need to make room to listen to you.
Just… not right now, okay?
Ang just sits there, blinking.
Lecher jumps in.
L. Hey, no sweat Sinner.
I can hang out with the big guy until you’re ready.
E. Ah. Wow. Thank you. Both of you.
L. So, have you ever played euchre?
Continued in Sex 302: Wordless Angst