His fingertips were tightly clipped to the windowsill as his face glowed with familiar dull expression only broken by the most genuine and naïve grin, revealing two rows of uneven yellowish teeth, separated by a few gaps. There was no ignoring good old Tubby, he obviously wasn’t going anywhere.
“So you couldn’t just let me sleep” I muttered as I yanked the window open.
“Is this how you greet an old friend after all this time?” Tubby said as he climbed down from the window and landed carefully on the safety of the carpet. His osteoporosis had clearly gotten worse. I reached and gave him a hand, helped him to a chair as I studied his tired face. I felt a smile shaping up on my face only to turn into a grimace as he blurted out…
“I need a cup of tea, and we need to talk”
Me: Drink your tea and go, I really need to get some sleep.
Tubby: and by sleep you mean staying up repeating the same thoughts to yourself over and over like a broken record?
Me: What… how…
Tubby: Relax. You know I’m a figment of your imagination, your imaginary slave or whatever, I know what’s going on, and since I live inside your head I’m starting to get annoyed by all that rattling around, I can’t sleep, and God knows old men like me need their sleep.
Me: First, old men hardly need 3 hours of sleep. Second of all, they are not constantly repeated thoughts; I keep generating new ones and I have reached some really rational conclusions that would put my mind to peace, believe it or not.
Tubby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. [Takes a sip] You think I didn’t see you googling movies and movie quotes? What are you, 19?
Me: Shut up
Tubby: and all those things you typed and erased, and that draft you deleted later on
Me: You saw that? Oh no…
Tubby: Yes I did. It would’ve been fun if that had found its way into the cyber space. Would’ve enjoyed seeing your life unfold into a series of self-destructive events.
Me: [sigh] What do you want, really?
Tubby: I’m not the one you should direct this question to.
Me: Smart. Touche. You made your point, now get out
Tubby: Why are you so anxious for me to leave? You’re the one who wanted to talk
Me: No I didn’t!
Tubby: Really? Think about it dear. All those things you’ve been wondering about, all the rationalizations, all the pep talks you gave yourself. I just want to help. I know this is not something you’re willing to discuss out of the boundaries of this hard-shell skull of yours.
Me: I don’t know, you may be right. You know when you keep too many things in they start to feel like a congestion, or a fever of sorts.
Tubby: [Pouring himself more tea] Now we’re talking!
Me: You know, today as I was driving I felt kind of light-headed, not exactly light-headed but like someone with flu would feel. But I wasn’t sick, I knew I wasn’t sick. Yet I felt like I had so little energy and then it hit me and I realized “so this is how it feels…”
Tubby: What’s that?
Me: All of it, it felt so debilitating…
Tubby: I don’t understand
Me: Of course you don’t. You know what, forget it. Perhaps I’m just being dramatic, but I’m sure I did the right thing here
Tubby: Oh, there you go again. Let me tell you this story, there was once a duel between…
Me: Oh no, not that duel story, someone might understand
Tubby: [smashes the tea cup onto the floor] If you don’t want anyone to understand then why do you blog it?
Me: Because it makes me feel better you idiot!
Me: Anyway, I ended up watching that movie that’s been sitting on my nightstand for over a year. I heard it was very sad and I didn’t mind shedding a few tears, you know, it’s therapeutic. So I watched the movie and it’s about this man who appeals to the court to give him the right to kill himself because he had tetraplegia. They didn’t approve it but he killed himself anyway. The thing is, I couldn’t sympathize with him. I felt bad for his condition but I felt like he shouldn’t kill himself, he was a really good man and he had a life even if he didn’t move. Nobody should be allowed to take their own life.
Tubby: Glad we established that, now I can be slightly less worried about you. I often wondered about it actually, I mean I know you wouldn’t do it because your religious beliefs say it’s prohibited, but if it wasn’t, would you do it?
Me: Me? Oh no, God forbid, it’s too scary for me. Although you know, sometimes when I’m at a really good place in my life I think that I would love for my life to end on a high note and I think it would be nice to die there and then but then I realize I should be more ambitious than that. Just today I heard a saying by the Prophet [PBUH] about how a believer must not wish to die because the longer they live, the more good they do. Anyway, I would love for my life to end on a dramatic note though, in a good way.
Tubby: Can we stop talking about death? It’s not a pleasant subject for a 107 year-old man.
Me: Sorry. Anyway, I was saying I couldn’t sympathize with the protagonist maybe because I was also consumed in my own thoughts. I can’t even focus on anything, I don’t feel like working… well, actually I haven’t been feeling like working for the past couple of months but you get my point. I can’t go on in life like that, being consumed in my own problems that are not really problems.
Tubby: You sure it is not a problem?
Me: It is not. It was an obvious choice and I’m sure I did the right thing. The thing is, I always underestimate the emotions I’ll have afterwards. Not only this, anything. I’m never prepared. It’s not easy doing the right thing
Me: You see, it’s just that there’s nothing I can do but wait for those feelings to subside or fade away. I have to admit though they distracted me from other troubling feelings I had recently. It’s good actually, it’s like ripping a bandage, it won’t hurt forever.
Tubby: I don’t think that is your problem
Me: What do you mean?
Tubby: Honestly, you’re just too optimistic. In the back of your mind you still have that hope that things would go the way you imagined them. I hate to break it to you but this is not a Hollywood movie…
Me: Really? It’s not? Really? This is exactly what it is! I mean, I know I’ve imagined quite bizarre scenarios but nothing like this. Not that it’s bizarre but just… so weird
Tubby: [Sigh] Would you rather like that it didn’t happen at all?
Me: I would say yes, but I really don’t know. I just hope that I’ll go to sleep and wake up to a brighter world were all my current issues have been solved and where I’d forgotten all about this. Why do I complicate things? Why do I think too much? Why can’t I just shake it off with all the carelessness in the world?
Tubby: Quite frankly I’d hate you if you were that kind of person.
Me: Yeah… [looks at the clock] it’s 2:46. You think… oh, forget it
Me: Nothing, it’s stupid. I insist on being stupid, and you keep me in check. Thank you
Tubby: [sweeping the broken glass under the carpet] with pleasure, dear
Me: I wish I had you in real life to talk to. I feel much better, thank you
Tubby: Sure, dear… who needs real life? I’m always here. Just give me a shoutout. Or you know what, you don’t know how to ask for help, I’ll just pass by from time to time, just in case.
Me: Thank you. I’ll try to get some sleep right now. But I won’t promise you anything will change come morning
Tubby: Me neither. Now go to sleep.