Breakups and Loneliness: Cartman is my Friend

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Time is on a treadmill today and I hate it. I don’t want to go home. I don’t want to stay in this cramped office but I have nowhere else to go. Sadness is hanging off me and its stench is more than I can bear for myself – no need to subject anyone else to it. But I don’t want to go home.

Vamonos Valeria

Janet, my Dominican counterpart, gets up and reaches for her coat. She’s gesturing for me to do the same. I close out my work documents, unplug my phone and grab my purse. I look at my copy of Eat, Pray, Love and I can’t help but feel annoyed with myself. I’m hurt, I’m drowning in hurt and I don’t know how to stop it. I start planning out the things I want to do when I get home: workout, cook, write – my articles are way overdue, my coding needs work so I’ll practice a bit. My little schedule gives me energy and I bounce up and put on my coat. Outside Janet and I hug quickly. She has someone to welcome at home, and I have silence. Silence is killing me. Silence is driving me up the damn wall and I swear if this is a fight to the death, go on and bury me already.

I’m suffocating under it. There are no more voices at home, no more laughter, no more sing alongs, no more hushed whispers trading odes of loyalty and feelings philosophers can’t define. There are no more arguments, no more angry voicemails choking back tears. There are no more reconciliations, no more wrongly accepted defeats voicing the lost of self to keep the other. There are no more cries for protection, no more cries to “make her go away”. There are no more cries left to grieve what has been lost, to grieve the final act of betrayal, to grieve the end of a tortured Union and the beginning of the clean up of shattered hopes and wills, too fine to pick up and glue back together. Now, there is only silence.

And it’s killing me. I need noise. I need faux excitement. I need to feel that in my solitude there is still life here. So I watch everything. I open my Barbancourt, lay in my towel my damp hair imprinting the pillows with each move and I lose myself in everything. I drink and I watch, and the sounds black out the silence.

I awake to silence and I immediately jolt up. I can’t have this, not now. I need something to kill this. I log onto Facebook and voila a link to a new episode of South Park. A cartoon about rowdy kids frozen in time will have to do. The show begins, I lay back down but it doesn’t immediately drown out the silence that is gaping in my chest. My last advice-laden conversation with my mother, the one that began with a gentle tap on the knee and an “an n’ pale” replays. Her words of “sa ki pou ou ap toujou pou ou” pound in my head, but they don’t help. Tonight, I’m lonely. So lonely that a fat, animated kid named Cartman becomes my friend.

Photo Credit: Samuel Dameus

Valerie Jean Charles

Valerie Jean-Charles is a Communications Manager and writer in Brooklyn, NY. Follow her @Vivaciously_Val for daily musings on pop culture, politics and reality TV. Read more of her work at

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