Ethan’s parents liked to laugh at him. They would stop by and comment on his life and laugh. Ethan lived in a small one-bedroom apartment in Belle Pointe Apartments near the interstate. His apartment was cluttered, probably a reflection of Ethan’s ongoing depression and social anxiety and the self-hatred that came from dealing with his depression and social anxiety. He wished he could be outgoing and popular like his parents, but he’d rather spend time alone with his thoughts and papers and books.
It was ten years ago, in 2010 at Thanksgiving. We were sitting there enjoying our turkey and mashed potatoes when Grandpa (who just turned seventy) let loose with the vilest monologue ever heard. It was as if an entire lifetime of filth just came pouring out from his mouth, as if someone had directed the sewer pipe into our dining room. And we all just sat there while raw sewage poured over us. It was as if he’d been plugged into some collective filth pool and was draining it into our dining room. Sewage poured over my new dress, the one Mom bought me for Thanksgiving, the one she bought to make Grandpa happy. “He’s been so sad since Grandma died,” she said. “Maybe seeing you looking nice will make him happy.”