Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Saddest Man on Facebook

  I got a friend request a few months ago on my facebook profile: sorrellart... or just look up Jason Sorrell and my handsome mug staring back at you.  Anyhoo, this "friend" was someone I hadn't heard from in almost 10 years, someone I knew since the 6th grade, and who insisted on being a true douche-bag until I got fed-up with it and told him that I was tired of his shit.  There is a mess of history there and witnessing some fucked-up behavior from this... "person".  The root cause of all his woes, his financial and social issues, even his poor hygiene I am convinced is related to a development that was for whatever reason arrested in the 8th grade.  Even way back then, there was friction between this person and his peers, myself included, because we began moving toward our futures while he remained stoically clinging to the crumbling remnants of his past.

 Like poetry, ain't it?

 In my standard fashion when discussing such issues, I am not going to name names.  It is the behavior, and not the person I wish to be critical of.  And, I must admit that I was complacent about these behaviors for years... and enabler if you will.  I wanted to see the guy turn it all around, pulling his head out of his ass with such a tremendous 'POP' that you would be able to hear it three counties over.  Even now, I am writing this out of some mixed sense of disappointment, concern, and a huge portion of thinking this kind of shit is funny.

 I think it is important to give a little background on this guy.  I met him in the 6th grade in some class... he saw me drawing instead of paying attention.  I was drawing because whatever assignment had been given I had already finished.  He was writing, though I think he was writing because whatever assignment was given he did not understand.  We discovered a mutual interest in comic books, and being a couple of misfits we kind of forged an alliance as misfits in Junior High do.

 We did all the moronic shit boys do, especially during that phase when not only have boys discovered girls, but the girls have discovered boys.  He was the big-kid and I was the scrawny smart kid... developing into quite a smart-ass.  This was something that, for whatever reason, some of the girls seemed to dig.  This guy, being 'big' and from the wrong side of the apartment complex, seemed to have it easier at first.  But, as I said above, while the rest of us matured, he just kind of stayed in the same place.

 I moved in the 8th grade to a school district where no one was aware of my many... many social faux pas.  Moving to a new district like that creates a world of opportunity for a misfit who wishes to re-invent himself, and I spent a year tweaking and experimenting.  Mid-way through my freshmen year, my friend moves to the same district and goes to the same high school.  I had laid what I considered to be a good social groundwork amongst my peers at my new school.

 I found myself having to use my wit and sarcastic repertoire to constantly make excuses for my friend, or just to keep him out of fights.  People literally began to refer to us as "Jason and his dumb friend".  Getting him to try to crack-wise on his own was even worse.  Half the time I would have to mock him just to keep someone else from doing it and egging him into a physical confrontation.  Back in the 6th grade, he was the 'big' kid, but in high school he was the same size as everyone else. 

 I moved again, to a new high school, and only on occasion saw my friend over the next several years.  I graduated from high school, joined the Army, and lived in Europe for four years.  I think I did more growing-up during those four years in Europe than my entire previous 18 years.  When I came back home, I was confident, witty, knew what I was doing and were the hell I was going.

 My friend graduated from high school.  He attempted to join the Army, but for some reason did not make the cut (I mean, who CANNOT get into the Army?).  He joined the National Guard, but was eventually kicked out for simply not showing up for his one weekend a month and two weeks a year.  I don't think he was really missed.

 He was one of my contacts when I came back to my home town, and we hung out for the first couple of weeks while I re-oriented myself to life in the States.  It was soon apparent that his life had been radically different than my own.  Sometimes he was living with his mom, other times he was borderline homeless.  When I moved into a house (the party-house on Kenwood near Johnny Appleseed Park... people are still recovering from the '98 Halloween Party), he needed a place to stay and moved in.  Things did not go well.

 It was a party-house, 3 guys splitting the rent and throwing parties every weekend when not out at the few clubs in town.  Our other room-mate, John, and I had a running competition to see who could get the most women in and out of that place.  The focus of this tale, my friend, invited a couple of girls over, and Jon and I did our thing.

 We had another friend who literally came over one day and asked John and I, before he brought his female friend in, not to hit on this girl.  He said this was his new girlfriend.  When he brought her in, I asked, "So, your dating Kenny?"  She looked surprised and answered no.  That was all we needed to hear.

 John and I got with her on separate occasions within the next couple of months.  We thought it was hilarious, and Kenny's struggle with it just made things more entertaining for us. We could be real pricks like that. 

 Anyway, back to my other friend, one of the girls he brought over was with another dude.  The other girl got with John that night.  Our friend tried his best, even tried to get his guests away from us, but John and I had our game down to a science.  

 I was woke in the wee hours of the morning by doors being slammed in my kitchen.  When I went downstairs to see what the hell was going on, I found my friend in the kitchen, basically loosing his mind.  From the basement (John's room) came the sounds of a woman quite obviously and loudly enjoying herself.  My friend's fit was as much to try to interrupt John's session as to express his frustration.

 I had to get him out of the house before he broke something.  I convinced him to walk with me, down to the park.  

 On the way, we talked about his problems.  He lacked the "gift-of-gab" that I have, and he didn't have the same "boyish charm" (some chick described it that way) that John had, so he couldn't do what we did.  His ideas about what women like, or how they respond, were completely backward (he's the guy that tried to serenade a woman at one of our parties).  I told him that whatever he thinks he should do in regards to women, whatever his first instinct was, he would be better-off doing the exact opposite.  We agreed that John and I would start taking him out with us, and if he promised to keep his mouth shut and just let us do our thing, we could work him in to the routine.  He just could not "be himself", because that was not working for him.

 By the time we got to the park, he was calm.  He agreed with everything I had to say, and was even enthusiastic about the prospect of working the game with John and myself.

 As we walked back, he proceeded to dismantle everything we discussed.  By the time we got back to the house, he was convinced that if women did not like him for who he was, then those weren't the women for him.

 Thankfully, John had taken the young woman home and was not in the house.

 Things just got worse form there.  One female friend claimed he cornered her and forced her to kiss him.  Another claimed he tried to force his hand down her pants while the rest of us were in another room they were alone.  I tried to make excuses for him, but we eventually kicked him out of the party-house.  The vibe got a lot better afterward.

 Years later, he caught-up with me again.  He claimed to have turned things around.  He was with a new girl, had a steady-job, and he needed a room-mate to rent a place with them.  I was living with a girl at the time, which back then meant I was more beholden to one person than I was comfortable with.  Still thinking there was hope for my friend, I agreed to rent  a place with him.

 When he started to bail on his portion of the rent and utility bills, I started to get pissed.

 When he punched his girlfriend during an argument while my kids were in the house, I put an end to his bullshit.  

 When we were kids, he was bigger than I was, and in our mock-fights used to knock me around.  He played at martial-arts, always claiming to have an "uncle" who taught him a little Kung Fu or whatever.  As adults, having four years of military training, some actual Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, a little Kendo sword-fighting training (very, very little), and a world of confidence, I intimidated him, and I knew it.  We had only two demonstrations to convince him that I was not someone he could match; there was the day that no matter how much he tried he couldn't hold his bokken practice sword when sparring with me, and the day that an arm-bar and leg-sweep left him on the ground and immobilized before he knew what to think.  From then on, he might wrestle around with our other friends, or even try to intimidate them physically, but with me he knew, for his own safety, to back down.

 I got to him before he could hit his girl again.  Telling him that if he hit her again I would "beat the living shit out of him" I forced him to back down.  My rant at that point was far from over.  He went downstairs to his chair, and I unleashed years of disappointment with this person, and with myself for putting up with it for so long.  At one point, he got angry enough to start to stand, but when I told him that if he stood I was going to beat his ass, he sat back down. 

 I ended my rant by stating that I was done defending him from his detractors and covering for his bullshit.  "From now on," I said, "when someone asks me about you, I will let them know plainly what kind of asshole you are".

 After that, I moved out.  I only heard about this guy occasionally from mutual friends.  My dad ran into once at a bar and tried to be cool with him, but when my former friend tried to talk shit, my father simply said, "Boy, do you want me to call him over here so we can all see how much you run your mouth with him in the room?"  My former friend simply got up and left.

 So, I get a friend request last year.  This guy is just now getting on the world wide web.  Literally.  Just last year.  Talk about coming late to the party.  This in itself is ironic; the man used to play video games to the exclusion of all else except for maybe eating and playing Magic: The Gathering.  You would think that owning or having access to a computer, just for gaming, would be a high-priority for him. 

 Yep.  He is one of those guys.

 So, the request.  I admit also that I had been curious about this loser, a kind of morbid curiosity that one might have for a tremendous failing of the self related to some location or object... both have long since been scrapped yet you return now and then just to see.  I use the FB thing mainly to keep up with my friends, and oddly enough their are a ridiculous number of ex-girlfriends that have managed to track me down on FB.  They add me to their friends list then say nothing to me... probably related to that same morbid curiosity thing I just mentioned. 

 I added him as a friend and immediately went to his profile.  Where is he working, I wonder?  What has he been up to lately?  What pathetic excuse for a woman is letting him diddle her panty-playthings, or has he finally given up the ghost and come out of the closet (the man has always had issues with women, has a history of physical abuse towards women, and according to one of our mutual friends has engaged in a relationship with another man... not that there is anything wrong with that last bit there)?  Did his writing ever take-off (he writes stories that are just above being put to paper with a crayon)?  Has he published anything?  These are the things I want to know.  Instead, his profile is bare.  He has three pictures of himself he lifted from his sister's profile... three photos where he appears to be drunk and badly in need of a shower.  There is no information, no place of employment, no education, no religion... nothing.  He probably doesn't know how to right-click and save a photo online, otherwise he would have raided his brother's profile for pictures from his brother's wedding when dignity and tradition forced him to shower and put on a tux. 

 My curiosity unsatisfied, I send him a PM basically asking how he has been and what he has been up to.  He responds by telling me that he has a "whole bunch of new material" (most likely the written material for a comic book) and that he would like me to provide the artwork.

 As an aside, I always find it interesting how little appreciation budding comic book authors had for the artists that draw the comics.  Writing is hard work, like running a marathon.  Drawing a comic is like running a marathon with a 100 pound backpack through a desert.  The amateur writer almost always assumes that the artist getting his or her name on a book will be worth the effort.  Never mind that it is the art that initially attracts the reader to the book, and the writing is what holds them to the characters and story. 

 Anyway, I can barely keep up with my paying commissions, let alone take on a "for-a-friend" project for a writer that I was overly charitable to in the past in regards to his talent.  I told him I was busy, but I would look at the project.  I suggested he check out my site http://www.creativeodditiesstudios.com/, to get an idea of what kind of work I do and email me his material.

 I've gotten nada, zip, zilch... unless you count requests for FB games. 

 It is mind-blowing to witness while also totally expected.  This guy plays every game... I am certain of it.  He plays so many games that I cannot imagine how he has time for anything else.  There are no other interactions occurring on his FB account, no status-updates, no comments, no messages between himself and his other friends.  Just game updates and requests.  He is not even using FB to try to get LAID!  Just playing with himself on-line, and sharing his chronic masturbation with anyone who engages in the same pointless efforts.

 You would think after all these years that his wrist would have given out.

 Every once in a while, I check his profile to see if anything has been changed, anything to indicate a spark of an actual life.  The profile picture remains that same; a bed-headed profile picture with a vapid and confused, slack-jawed expression.  His wall is covered with game achievements, game requests, and new game listings... a tribute to his worthlessness.

Oh, well.  Game on, sad little man.  Game on.

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