Image: Google images – re-useable.
When Mark Terrence Vessels was born, it was his father who took to calling him Empty.
The name stuck with him through life and even his teachers, the cruel nuns he faced each day, referred to him whenever they could as Empty Vessels.
But he was a quiet boy, sat silently through his childhood well aware of the ridicule that came his way whenever he dared to say anything.
As a teenager, he buried himself in reading and playing music. He taught himself the guitar but played for no one but himself.
A few times he was attracted to girls he saw on the street, but as his social skills were poor, he could never get beyond the wondering.
After school, he found work in the Offices of a town accountant. He did a few basic accountancy courses, so he had something to show in the way of qualification but even in the work place he was never taken seriously, and no one bothered to find out his real name.
He began to have polite conversations with his co-worker during their work hours. Then a few drinks after work. He found he enjoyed her company but later realised he should have known better when Victoria Bitter asked him to marry her.
From the start, life wasn’t as he imagined.
He was the ideal punching bag for her, the scapegoat she longed for, and he became the reason life was so shit for her.
It wasn’t long before he was aware of an emptiness in his life even though he sat each day with his wife, slept in the same bed and shared his earnings with her.
One day he came home to discover she had left him. His bank account had been emptied, his house left a sparse shell of what was once a home.
Alone he struggled to understand why it was life had been the way it was for him. Slowly he dragged himself back to his feet and faced life with a degree of resolve he’d never known he possessed.
He could survive alone, he was capable of making a life for himself. With renewed purpose, he put the past behind him, made a mental note of the things he had learned and set out to create a world he was happy within.
He was Empty Vessels, but only by name.