I asked him if he wanted to go and grab a beer and some chicken wings with me. “No,” he said. “I cannot share in your journey for I am about to embark upon a quest, and if I am to be successful, I cannot afford to waste two hours down at the pub. Go if you must, but know this: you will not see me for awhile. When you do, I expect I will be a changed man.”
I have to admit, he had me freaked out, the way he was talking. Max Brenley, embarking upon a quest? Showing up to work in an unstained shirt had been his biggest accomplishment to date, so where did Mr. Motivation guy come from all of a sudden?
“A quest, huh?” I said. “Mind me asking what it is?”
“It involves danger, my friend. Shady characters as well, unforgiving terrain, and no guarantees of a happy ending. But sometimes, in order to see the light, you first have to experience darkness.”
“Do you need me to go with you? For backup or anything?” I asked, the whole time hoping he would say no. Sure, he was my best friend and all, but beer and wings appealed to me a whole lot more than something that sounded like it had the potential to get me killed.
“That won’t be necessary, but thank you for asking,” he answered. “There are questions that I want answered, and I fear that you would only distract me from the revelations I seek.”
“Okay,” I said, both relieved and insulted. “Maybe you should leave a travel itinerary, so I know roughly where to look in case you go missing.”
“I’ll be right over there,” he said, while pointing to his futon.
“Forgive me if this makes me sound stupid, but don’t quests usually involve going farther than your bedroom?”
“Sometimes what we’re looking for is right under our own noses. Or in my case, on my laptop. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have over sixty episodes of Breaking Bad to watch and if I’m going to get them in before work Monday I need to get going on them now.”
“Wait, your quest is a Breaking Bad marathon? What’s so big and dangerous about that?”
“Like I said, there are over sixty episodes in the series, sixty! I can’t watch them all in a day! And from what I heard, there are plenty of dangerous, bad ass characters in it. Killers in fact, but don’t spoil it for me. Plus don’t forget, it’s set in New Mexico. That place ain’t exactly Shangri la.”
“Why the need to finally watch Breaking Bad? That show’s been off the air for awhile now,” I then said, frustrated as hell that Max had gone from giving me the impression he was finally getting his act together to solidifying his position as the ultimate slacker in a matter of minutes.
“I know, but I’m totally hooked on its prequel, Better Call Saul. How am I going to know how things end up for Saul Goodman, a.k.a. Jimmy McGill if I don’t watch Breaking Bad?”
“Jesus, no wonder you still live at home with your parents,” I said. Turning to leave, I left him with one parting message before heading out the front door of his parents’ house: “Walt dies at the end, by the way. Asshole.”
“Aw man! I told you not to ruin it for me!”