It was autumn, Neil's least favourite season. Everything was slowing down and dying: Tree leaves, which had the ability to be both brilliant and crumbling--bursting with beautiful colours that, seemingly overnight, tumbled to the ground, losing their lives and acquiring an ugly brown shade with the consistency of paper mache Talk about a bubbly optimist.
Neil glanced at his watch and realised that he was late for the music studio-----He was supposed to be an hour early, not the opposite. Chris met him at the door. "Have a rough night, Neil?" He noted the sun glasses and the very obvious sings of being classically hungover.
"No more than usual, Chris." Neil replied. Let's get to work."
"Work on what, Neil?"
"Erm, aren't we supposed to finish the album? Shouldn't we get to the recording studio?"
"Who told you that?"
"Nobody had to say anything, Chris. Is this some twisted Abbott and Costello routine? Neil's nerves were starting to slowly shred.
Chris was annoyed and losing patience. "What are you talking about? You mean that comedy team from the dark ages of TV?"
"I'm done with this ridiculous conversation." Neil got up and left the room and the witty repartee came to a close--for now anyway.
What Chris and everyone who knows Neil can attest, he had been acting strangely over the past several months now. He was demonstrating odd behaviour that was completely out of character.
Neil had grown ever more distant and introverted. Never a gregarious type to begin with, he was slowly realising that something might be wrong with him after all but had no idea what that was or how to fix it. He couldn't say anything to Chris, as he was quite annoyed at what he saw as an immature kid on the verge of a tantrum.
The next week, Neil appeared less distraught, but still wasn't doing much of anything but sleeping most of the day and refused to talk to anyone, even Chris and his worried family. Chris had begun to refer to Neil as having "a zombie persona". It was rather mean and insensitive, but Neil didn't care. He didn't care about anything as the weeks clicked by. He wasn't shaving or showering and often wore the same clothes for a couple of weeks or more. He looked as if he slept in the park. Chris knew that Neil couldn't go on like this for the rest of his life and needed some kind of intervention. But Neil wasn't having it. Chris, look after your problems too instead of focusing on me."
Chris left, put off by Neil's obvious retort. It was the beginning of a terrifying journey into madness and Chris really didn't want to get in the way of whatever was quickly overwhelming his friend's crumbling psyche. That's it. Take the high road as always, Chris. Run for the hills. There's a madman around." Neil spun around and walked the five miles to his flat, only to find that he'd been robbed. Feeling as though his heart had taken a dive into his shoes, Neil just stood there and had no idea how to go about getting his belongings back. Instead of calling the police (which wouldn't serve any purpose anyway) Neil simply chose to ignore the whole mess and went to his unmade bed, diving beneath his quilt and staying there, away from everyone who had been talking behind his back and had likely been the bastards who robbed him blind as well. "I'm just going to keep the world as far away from me as possible. I don't feel that society and all the crap that goes with it has much to offer me anymore, if anything."
End Of Part One