They had taken him to the party because they wanted him to be happy and they thought that being home alone would make him sad, whilst being out and socialising with them would make him happy; though actually being out at the party and socialising with them was making him feel heavy with a sadness he couldn’t shake, and had he been home alone he most probably would have been feeling quite happy. So he was sitting on the floor (there were not enough chairs) and, as he was not really talking, just sipping away too easily at his drink, he was becoming drunk quite quickly.
He had one other friend and he started to send him a text message – I hate whoever came up with that phrase ‘It’s always the quiet ones you have to watch’, whoever said that first, I hate them. They spoiled being quiet for anyone who just wants to be quiet – because someone else had just nodded at him and said, in relation to some subject to which he had not been paying attention, ‘It’s always the quiet ones…’
His phone beeped and he took it from his pocket, clumsily clicked the button to open the reply. Tell me about it, brother. And he laughed because the tone of the message was so atypical for his friend, and he liked to guess that he too was sitting half drunk, avoiding engaging with people at some other party somewhere else.