BOSTON—Expressing the sadness they feel for the beleaguered man and his incomprehensible plight, friends, family, and acquaintances of area man Doug Belson confirmed Wednesday that he is the only person in the world who has problems.
Reports indicate the 34-year-old account manager, who has suffered from this unique affliction for most of his life, is entirely alone in experiencing such phenomena, which from time to time cause him to be unhappy and prevent his life from going as smoothly as he would like.
“It’s hard to understand, but for some reason things don’t go Doug’s way 100 percent of the time. It’s just so tragic,” said coworker Elizabeth Waite, explaining that she, like everyone on earth aside from Belson, has never encountered an unexpected situation that interfered with her pursuit of a desired outcome. “And it’s not just that he’s had one or two of these problems. He’s had quite a few. Like the other day he was stuck in traffic and had to just sit there, trapped, even though he had someplace he needed to be. Can you imagine what that must have felt like?”
“And to think it was only a few months ago that his car actually broke down, without any kind of warning, and he had to have it repaired,” she continued. “I don’t even know what to say to a person who’s been through something like that.”
According to people familiar with Belson’s personal trials, in just the past week the problems he—and he alone—has faced include having to drag himself out of bed for work even though he hadn’t slept all that well, feeling trapped in a tedious and unchallenging job, and enduring a sense of loneliness while watching television by himself in his apartment—all awful experiences that Belson’s acquaintances said they struggled to even fathom.
While conveying a desire to support the hapless man through his debilitating predicaments, concerned sources said that because none of them had ever been afflicted with a seasonal cold, felt occasional fatigue at work, suffered a romantic rejection, or become uncomfortably hungry, it was hard to do anything more than express their profound sorrow for his baffling circumstances and offer whatever consoling words they could.
“It’s hard to believe that things actually arise in the course of his life that impede his plans, making his day more difficult. I don’t know how anyone can deal with that.”
“Last week, I saw Doug using the office printer, and it was actually malfunctioning on him right before a meeting—it took me a while to even figure out what was going on, because I had no idea something like that could happen,” said Peter Banks, Belson’s supervisor at work. “After that, I thought, ‘My God, this poor man. Look at this obstacle in his way he has to overcome. How terrible.’ Ever since, I’ve been stopping by his desk just to pat him on the back and ask if there’s anything I can do to help him out.”
“It’s hard to believe that things actually arise in the course of his life that impede his plans, making his day more difficult,” Banks added. “I don’t know how anyone can deal with that.”
One friend told reporters she was deeply shaken after Belson mentioned he was having trouble with his landlord and then, an entire week later, told her the matter had yet to be resolved. While many of Belson’s problems reportedly go away by themselves or are rendered moot by the passage of time, sources explained that some apparently have to be actively solved. Indeed, several visibly aghast acquaintances confirmed that certain hindrances in Belson’s life can persist for months or even years, as has been the case with his chronic lower-back pain and his emotionally distant relationship with his father.
In addition, those close to Belson said they were left staggered after discovering he is sometimes beset by multiple problems at the same time, making him the sole individual in existence who in a single day has to contend with such issues as making a student loan payment on time, the inconvenience of a long line at his favorite lunch place, and anxiety over whether he drinks too much.
“It’s amazing Doug still finds the strength to carry on even though things sometimes don’t work out exactly the way he intends,” said college friend Greg Yang, adding that conversations with Belson always make him feel extremely fortunate that he never has to worry about encountering an impediment in any aspect of his own existence. “Whenever he calls me up to talk about how stressed out he is, I just try to be a good listener, while keeping in mind that I’ll never truly understand how hard it is for him. How could I, you know?”
“Really, when you consider everything he has to go through, it’s incredible he only complains to everybody around him a few dozen times a day,” he added.