The biggest problem in male relationships is the confrontation of weakness. Anger and joy can be aided or fueled with a bottle of alcohol or with any cheap kind of distraction. Weakness and depression, though, are the most difficult; against all cost most friends will avoid it. The way you see a person you love and admire, you look at them as a reflection of your self; to see them sad or weak distorts the image to something disgusting you could not bare to look at. To see a friend in a state of depression, or worse, in tears is handled the way a pack of wolves would treat a sick or dying member of the pack. Distance and alienation; it's the only way.
Jonathan was still on the couch on Saturday night when the phone rang.
"Hello." Jonathan said.
"Hey, this is Dallas, how long until you are ready?" He said.
"I just have to jump in the shower and throw some clothes on."
"Do you need me to bring you clean underwear?"
"See you in an hour."
Jonathan hung up the phone, stepped into the bathroom and looked into the mirror; he hadn't seen his reflection since waking up in the bathtub. He had dark rings around his blue eyes, his hair was greasy with matted spots on the side and back and he had about there weeks worth of stubble. He filled the sink with hot water and lathered shaving cream on his face. He cut himself a few times; his blade was dull and his beard was thick. He put a cold towel on his face; his cuts disappeared. His face looked thinner than he remembered - he had been living on coffee and some days he would be able to eat - and his skin was surprisingly clear. He tongued his teeth and smiled into the mirror; they were fuzzy and light yellow. He brushed his teeth four times with scolding hot water until his gums and tongue were red. He took a mouthful of clear mouthwash and gargled; he spat it out instantly the burn felt like a mouthful of razors. Pink liquid funneled down the drain like a tiny tornado.
Jonathan took off his underwear and looked down at them; the white elastic around his thighs and waist were both stained brown and there were dark yellow and brown stains in them. His penis was a flaccid snail curled up to his scrotum, no longer a sexual tool but just a receptacle to expel waste. He stepped into the shower and turned the water on; he crouched down and looked at his reflection in the tap. He could smell his testicles; they smelled like moldy sour cream and wet bread. He dry heaved, spit into the tub and pulled the shower tap on. He scrubbed himself from head to toe with a shower brush; brown water ran down his chest and legs. He scrubbed himself until his skin was red and the water burned like sandpaper on his skin, he quickly washed his hair - he preferred it a little dirty - and stepped out of the shower and toweled himself dry.
He walked into his bedroom; it was exactly the way it looked when Sarah left. There were clothes strewn across the room and the bed was made exactly how it was weeks earlier. He put on a pair of black jeans and a t-shirt with the Smith's Meat is Murder album cover on it. He went into the bathroom to see how he looked; his hair was completely dry and it had a slight curl to it. He went into the living room, turned on the TV and waited for Dallas to get there.