Peter was in one of his moods; Roger could tell. The best thing he could do was hang in there and roll with it.
“I’m no good to anybody,” Peter said. “I’m pessimistic, fatalistic and a total bummer to be around."
Tell me about it, Roger thought. He took a swig of his drink. “You forgot self-loathing.”
“Right! I undermine myself at every opportunity.”
“You drag other people down.”
“I do. I’m also paranoid and withdrawn.”
“You drain the life out of any party.”
“I never get invited to parties in the first place.”
“The party-givers obviously learned their lessons.”
“Word spread fast and I was branded a pariah.”
“Or at the very least socially undesirable.”
“Unfit for polite society.”
“I’m run down.”
“Run out on a rail.”
“Out of options.”
“At wit’s end.”
“Between a rock and a hard place.”
“All washed up.”
“Throwing in the towel.”
“Hitting the showers.”
“What are you insinuating?”
This caught Roger unawares. They had been on a roll, rattling things off in staccato fashion. Why suddenly take offense at something so innocuous?
“That’s not how it sounded from here.” Peter took off his jacket and started removing his watch, going into an aggressive stance. Roger instantly held up his hands and started backing away.
“Hey, I was just following your lead, man.”
“Were you now?” Peter was starting to advance, his hands clenched in fists.
Peter stopped in his tracks and slumped into a chair, the anger subsiding.
“Now I’m even turning on my friends.”
“Friend,” Roger corrected him.
“Ah, yes. Quite.”