Misery Loves Company v1

My (rejected) submission for Synapse’s 2nd reading! Go go go! It’s on Feb. 9th at the VAV Gallery again.

BIO: Jessica Rose Marcotte was born in Montreal and attends Concordia University in the Honours in English and Creative Writing Program. She enjoys scuba diving, rock climbing, road trips and reading. She is a blue belt in Chito-Ryu karate and speaks parts of five languages. Her work has been published in The Link, Concordia’s Independent Student Newspaper. She likes words.

Misery Loves Company

Sometimes, Misery loves Company so much that she stares at her expelled sputum in its Kleenex at five in the morning. She imagines the germs germinating, the yellow soreness in her throat spat out into the disposable cotton. After waking every two hours on the hour to cough and sneeze and spit, she considers where to wipe it so that he will pass by it. Or Misery toys with the idea of not sterilizing the thermometer, or coughing on Company’s soup spoon. Misery knows what they will do with they’re sick together – reading the obituaries and weeping, watching her stories on television and weeping, or having sex in her favourite position: lying still, and weeping. But Misery has no such opportunity to get Company to herself. He does not live with her anymore and it doesn’t matter if the thermometer is sterilized or not. She is the only one that uses it. Company has traded Misery in for Happiness.

Happiness, the slut, probably likes to ride on top. Probably likes to take charge and Misery bets that she doesn’t make him wear a condom. Happiness had gotten through life on her charming disposition, good looks, intelligence and work ethic. Talk about privileged – as if she ever would have made it without daddy to open doors for her. Misery knows that if she were to try the same thing it would have never flown. Misery imagines that they spend hours together, probably laughing at her, playing basketball and watching the Cosby show.

She calls up Hysteria to commiserate. Hysteria is Misery’s oldest friend. They had experimented in college together, went on their first road trip together, and plan to have matching walkers when they grew old. But, their friendship never grows old. They are two peas in a pod. Two falafels on a lunch tray. Two similar stalagmites in a Mexican cave. Yup, you could say they had a lot in common.

They meet at Tim Horton’s and eat forty Timbits in one half hour. They complain that they will grow fat. Then they start to talk shit about Happiness: how she smiles too much, how she always leaves too big of a tip, and how she was a geek in high school. Hysteria starts plotting. “Why don’t you send him a text message to meet us here with Happiness? You know, so that we can all hang out.”

“Why would I want to do that? I hate that man stealer.”

“Just do it. Let me take care of the rest,” says Hysteria and starts to giggle.

Misery is a tad unsettled.


Company is guileless. He and Happiness stroll on over. Happiness is just so glad that Misery and Hysteria want to be friends. She thinks that it’s nice of them to include her. As a group, they buy another pack of 40 Timbits. They eat them all. Happiness is not concerned for her hips at all. Misery wonders what Hysteria is planning.

When they are leaving Tim Horton’s, Hysteria runs Happiness over with a scooter. Hysteria is then taken away screaming by the police. Misery and Company accompany Happiness in the ambulance. When at the hospital, they notify Happiness’ family. Once Happiness’ sister arrives the doctors will not allow them to stay because they are not immediate family.

Misery lays her hand on Company’s shoulder. “You must be miserable. Why don’t you come home with me?” So he does. They eat only comfort foods and Company can’t forget her. They get a call at 10 PM that night. Hysteria’s lawyer got her off on an insanity plea; her psychological assessment and the trial are in three weeks. Happiness’s twin sister Joy also calls to say that Happiness is in stable condition and has woken up, but that Company is dangerous to be around because of his friends and exes. Eventually, Misery and Company start to feel cooped up. They go out about town, they attend funerals, eat too much Ben & Jerry’s, visit the sites of car crashes, and listen for the sound of crying children in conch shells. Company seems restless. They sit together one night in bed. Company rests his head on Misery’s pillows. “Why has this happened to me? What did I do to deserve this?”

She says “You know, somebody made all this possible. Somebody brought us together. And that somebody was–”

“You mean like God or somebody?” says Company. “If there is a God and he’s responsible I’d like to whack the jerk.”

Company gets up from the bed, now swept up with rage. Company leaves.

Misery weeps. “Fuck.” she says “It looks like he’s about to get Hysterical. That lucky bitch.”


  1. I actually enjoyed it as a light reading. I’m not sure I completely understood the ending but I enjoyed how you used the names of emotions for your characters. I also enjoyed the references to pop culture, though me being me, I have no clue what the Cosby show is.

    needs some work like all pieces do. My main comment would be, that I had to reread to know the genders. At some point I thought Misery was mad at Happiness for leaving… but I was like no it’s company. so the genders were a bit confusion probably because there are a lot of characters in a short space of time and their names are gender neutral. I wonder at some point is Misery was gay, before realizing that Company was a man. Probably if you made it clearer, earlier that Company was the man. it would be more clear. Also I think where I got confused was the shift from the narrator telling us about how Company left to be with Happiness and the statement that Happiness was a slut. I enjoyed it, made me laugh, but I guess I was expecting some male bashing and it took me by surprised that t glossed over Company’s leaving to go straight to oh it must be Happiness’s fault, you know how she is type of thing.

    Hope this post will be useful.

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