Tuesday, August 10, 2004

A Short Story About a Couple, Told in the Second Person, That Doesn’t Really Work Out 

You’re not the kind of guy who spends time with his ex-girlfriends. But here you are, sitting beside her, and you cannot say you aren’t actually enjoying yourself. She orders a something made with strawberrys and champagne. The drink in your hand is Jameson’s on the rocks. You feel the ice press up against your upper lip and wonder if this will get better or worse if you get drunk. She’s been talking about going on a trip to the Adirondacks with a man she met recently.

“Well, I think you should go. It will be a new experience,” you say.

“I’m not interested in new experiences. Unless they’re chemical,” she says.

You laugh. She laughs. After that there is silence, which is less awkward than you would expect thanks to the whiskey.

The silence continues and you wonder if there is anything else to this story. There was that one joke, but it doesn’t really have anywhere else to go.

“Ask him if he’s got anything else, or if we’re just expected to sit here forever,” she says.

You look through the fourth wall at the narrator. “Well. Is there? What happens next?”

“Nothing, really. I’m actually a bit distracted right now,” I say.

“So we can go, then, right?” she asks.

Part of me still feels there might be a few more things to say but it doesn’t seem fair to keep you waiting. “I suppose you might as well,” I say.

You wave to the bartender but then decide that you probably don’t have to pay the check. In particular, if the story ends before you leave the bar you won’t have to pay the check at all.

“Could you end it right here, maybe?” you ask.

“Oh, Christ. You are a really fucking tight one, aren’t you?” she says.

It’s too late. The bartender brings the check. You take out your wallet and put a couple of bills into the leather folder. “Fucker,” you whisper under your breath.

I heard that. Just for that she’s going to leave angry.

She steps off her bar stool and walks out the door without looking back. The bartender returns with some change, and gives you a look of pity.

“You shouldn’t have let that one get away mate,” he says.

You know it wasn’t you that let her go. It was this story. Which really should have ended earlier. You wonder if it will even get posted to the blog. But it already has.