Malcolm was an odd one. He did not possess the required social skills to make anyone feel like continuing a steady conversation with him, not for lacking good content, but emitting a vibe of awkwardness which sometimes felt toxic at best. Needless to say, he hated it. He was great on the phone: calls, texts, no problem at all, he was the most desirable person on the planet. He found that he generally needed a bit of time to open himself up, and that required patience from his audience, which was rare, especially in his circles of work and friendship, the select few whom he related with, at least.
There had been days when he would be crushed, broken in spirit, after a relationship gone wrong, and too painful to mend. It hurt him mentally and creeped up on him at weird occasions, like once when he had been in a bar drinking alone, which was pretty understandable, but once, he felt unwelcome vibes, imaginary or not, when he was meeting his fellow company members in another city, he felt odd, out of place, unwelcome, and had ended up leaving the function to crash in the hotel room, again all alone sipping pint after pint of beer, while reflecting about his life. He was good at reflecting, he realized, since he had to do that a lot. But real insight and breakthroughs in personal or professional lives happened during social events like brainstorming events, team meetings or dates, or just casual friendly meetings.
It was probably why he had loved college. Staying away from home, he realized his new mates who had stayed together with him at the students hostel in his first year, hadn’t cared much about how he was at interactions or social skills, as long as his character was proven to be good. He had been able to start again on a fresh slate, and possibly rewrite his identity, hopefully for good. It worked. No one had given a crap about one another’s eccentricity, and judged even less, in regards to diversity and preferences. The result was a mutually co-habitative existence, camaraderie and long hours spent together, intoxicating each other with humour, alcohol and marijuana. It was the best time of Malcolm’s life, supplemented by the fact that he had an audience for the first time in his life, a meaningful one, unlike the scum he had encountered when he was in school, akin to baboons blowing balloons, and disturbing his peace.
He had left the city of his graduation in sorrow, although there were no tears involved. More emotion was felt for the golden retriever he had bid goodbye to, whose existence was the most ideal tale of love and heart one could seek for. As he had sped towards the airport, he remembered the dog’s antics and realised how the dog had gotten high with them one day and stared at them for minutes on end, like a new born baby trying to figure out how he/she’ had left the safety of his/her mother’s body.
Live and let live was his motto, and he swore by it at all times, as if intensely focusing his brain to be rational and unemotional at all times, whilst giving everyone the leeway to do whatever they seeked to, without causing him harm. He had lost the time to socialise, but felt he was coming out of reverie every once in a while. Maybe, he was becoming wise, as he aged, which was good news, as he realised, more and more so everyday that, the future was collaboration and not possible inside a silo of his own creation. It was about teams, where the sum of each member would add up to produce multiple tangible gains, much more than what each member could have accomplished on his own, because teamwork created an add-on effect, where the weakest members of the team would work extra hard in an effort to keep with up the best, much akin to team sports and high performance spectator sports, where stakes were comparatively higher than mere day-to-day ramblings of mediocrity.
A deep cloud had settled outside, right above his house, as if waiting for his go-ahead to cause havoc and lash out at his dumb neigbhours, who had developed a rather annoying habit of stopping him on the road to talk for a few minutes about his future prospects. Malcolm wanted to kill all of them with swords, chop their bodies into as many pieces as he could, barbecue them nicely with marinating sauces to make the flesh as tender as possible and feed it to the stray dogs. He felt a sudden urge of violence as soon as their faces came into his imagination, and calmed himself down by thinking about the methods used by the Nazis’ office called as the ‘angel of death’, Doctor Joseph Goebbels had orchestrated the killing of Jews in gas chambers, and had gone on to do many experiments with their dead bodies, turned white and blue due to the poisonous gases. Malcolm wished he lived in Nazi Germany, not for his personal glory or anything, but solely to kill his neighbors in the worst possible way.
Malcolm got up from the chair he was sitting on, and rummaged for a cigarette, but managed to find some crushed marijuana kept inside an A4 black sheet, The opportunity was taken quickly with aplomb.