Yesterday I saw a cat bound out with squealing tires, er, paws in the middle of nowhere. And then came a deep throaty croak trailing behind. I never knew cats were frightened of frogs, but there was a slight commotion going on with the furor that had erupted. Did I mention that I was a few feet in the air from shock? I'm always jumping up and down these days like Mexican jumping beans when sudden moves jolt and bolt me into panic mode. Of course you know I'm referring to cockroaches and sudden sprinting cats, and recently the heart attacks that Vlad the Impaler had given me.
Let me reintroduce Vlad the Impaler, if you've not met him through my earlier fond entries. Vlad the Impaler refers to an actual human being who does a good job of not acting like one. He is as the legendary figure suggests, a figure thirsting after the very last drop of your blood, and pushes for more. Vlad was going straight for my jugular in the last couple of weeks that my very own capillaries rose no more to the occasion nor danced to the surface of my skin. I thought by default I turned into a vampire as well, since I'm not quite as dead as I imagined I should be.
You know I really wish this story had a happy ending but unfortunately Vlad is still alive and I am still alive and there may be sequels beyond prequels and more rewrites. I fondly recall how Vlad cursed my ancestors before for having me in their line of descent, before asking me miserably why I had appeared to make his life tragic. You see, I work with Vlad. But unfortunately for me, he operates on a non logic mode. It means that I'm suddenly responsible when things go wrong if someone else was involved. You don't understand? Well then both you and I are on the same page. Vlad's reasoning is simple. If I wasn't the target of blame, I didn't learn. He then spews vulgarities and profane phrases merrily into my face and tells me this is "growing up" and that he only dedicated such familiar treatment to either "close friends" or "family".
You bet I was stoked by that compliment.
Have you met people who are also fanatical and embedded in their own fantastical beliefs? Vlad is like that. But Vlad too had his more humane moments. One too many times, he paused and quietly told me that I was his true friend and that he appreciated me. That would be after I was left asphyxiated by his generous buffet of insults and torment. He said he was helping me by his brain bashing and mental corrosion, it was "growing up". And that one day I would "thank" him for all the lessons on morality.
Oh yes. Morality.
Vlad taught me incessantly the evils of mankind. He reminded me that it was every man for himself and a cutthroat world. Surrounded by this world of negativity, I retreated into my own world of silence. Where once I used to retaliate valiantly, disagreeing with his unreason, I now went on a road of compliance. It was fruitless arguing with Vlad the Impaler. He would thrash you with curses and ridicule your flaws until he got tired. And Vlad never got tired, never actually slept either (this is true).
Vlad's bitterness had a history, but so did everybody. The other day I won, without trying. He said I would be ungrateful and so would my other compatriot in this unfortunate team and we would spring the moment we could when we were done with him. He could smell it, he said, the escape route signals.
I didn't answer him. Then he dropped his voice into an anguished sigh.
Actually I think Vlad does his job decently, he just has a foul mouth. One foul mouth that is overly destructive. You may think putting up with him is a mental challenge but it is also psychologically and physically draining for everybody. I am not sure why Vlad is so caught in his own logic that he cannot see beyond his own point of view. Oh wait, he said, only his point of view really mattered. So that was the answer.
The escape route has always been in BOLD bright letters. I've been handed the maps one too many times. As if I needed a map to get to the door. It's funny, while Vlad was educating me on the scums of the earth that ripped him off, he didn't see just how far he was draining my soul from my dedicating my life to my tasks. It's funny how I get fifteen missed calls the day Vlad decided to find a punching bag because something went awry with one of the compatriots. He must think it was/is a lot more cost effective to find a near victim, a "friend" who is your softest target that bolts up and down like a mexican jumping bean when a hysterical cat dashes out of nowhere. I'm thrilled, needless to say.
It makes the craft and passion become almost confusingly distasteful at some point. What has all those politics got to do with my work I wonder? Oh everything, claims Vlad. It's for "growing up."
"Growing up is such a barbarous business, full of inconvenience... and pimples"- J.M Barrie (creator of Peter Pan)
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