“What is your idea of perfect happiness?” A wiry game show host sits on a couch in a staged living room. He holds his microphone out, hoping to record everything.
The tv remote blinks. Flashes of green scan the room for any chance of reception. He wants control. He wants excitement. He never wants to feel that shrug of indifference that comes with the heavy sigh of boredom. But how can he say his idea of happiness is to be able to change scenes at the click of a button? Where is his loyalty?
He remembers the night he was so enamoured with Paris Hilton. Her long, delicate legs had stepped out of the limo, one at a time, so gracefully. Her skirt glimmered from the bright lights of the paparazzi. She was so glamorous. How could he not watch her every night for weeks as she graced his presence on the tv? She was perfect.
And then there was that one day. He took one quick look at her long blond hair and knew that it was over. Maybe it was the way she smiled – so quiet and distant. Or maybe it was that he knew every move she would make ahead of time. Whatever it was, he didn’t feel the same way about her as he once did. Her face looked old and in that familiar way, he felt the pull to change. He needed something new. Something exciting. He changed the channel.
The tv remote stared straight into the announcers eyes and said, without blinking, “the ability to change.”
When we first met it was like love at first sight. I still remember our late nights out on the town. Back when all we did was go out and dance and have fun everything seemed so innocent. But it couldn’t stay that way. I remember the first night you came over. We were on the porch together, gazing at the stars and pondering the thoughts of the universe. You were so cool – not trying to impress anyone, you let your faults be known. I was okay with it. It’s not like we were exclusive.
But then there was that one day after statistics class. I was frustrated, tired, annoyed with life and you were there. Waiting for me. I told you I couldn’t see you right now, I had to have time to cool off. I had to have my space for a minute. You persisted. You kept telling me you needed me and it was in that moment that I gave in.
It was like you were addicted to the weaknesses in my life. The moments where I felt anxious, upset, depressed or just lonely. You were always around when I needed you, you lived off those times.
You grew demanding. You wanted more money. You wanted more time. You wanted something that I could barely give, but did anyway. When I tried to leave you, you kept coming back. I would see you everywhere. In the neon lit convenient store down the block. In bars we used to go to. Even my porch seemed haunted by you.
I know we’re in an unhealthy relationship. I know I suck when I’m around you. But I just want to say, for all the times I said I hate you, I’ll never fully mean it. There’s always a part of me that lights up.