The End of the World

He's cute, but keeps his distance. He's careful never to propose anything that could be agreed with. Her hand on his is wrong, but necessary. "Are you hurt?" He looks hurt by the notion that he's hurt. "Frustrated?" He takes incommensurability to be evidence of his genius. A little singularity, words spinning off, not meant to be understood.

You can't blame her for disagreeing with his inwardness turned outward, but she does. At least outwardly. Apologies and laughter twitch. She's sorry for telling him "you have this line, that we're all doomed." Sorry because correct.

If you met either one of them on the street you wouldn't know it. Their faces are obscure, even from three feet away--peripheral, even straight-on.

Just their voices, and clouds with no brakes. Easy to tell in the rustlings of leaves the difference between a nice breeze and a storm. They argue about population control and resource shortage.

Admittedly, vision can fail. An eyelid can flutter involuntarily. What does disrupted vision look like? Anything?

He's hungry for himself, but after so long wandering with the pressure of emptiness in his belly, hunger has become nausea. If he got a chance to dig in, he'd have to take little bites. The meal would be too rich. It wouldn't make him more solid, but less. Eating himself ought to leave him about the same, but some would be lost in digestion. By the time he ate all of himself there'd be a lot of waste, and someone would have to clean it up. Probably that dogooder of a girlfriend. Isn't it her fault he gets white in the face whenever he has thoughts of self-actualization?

Though she seems unconcerned by what he says (more amused by what he says and concerned for him), privately she's somewhat of a megalomaniac. There's no bloodflow to show for it, but her retrospective shame makes her shout. All the wrong things she says to him! She can never remember what he says. She remembers attending closely to what he says, but his words are lost. Perhaps, she sometimes reflects, the shame of her selective memory accounts for her enthusiasm for listening.

For all their verbal discord, they're well-coordinated. In silence they slip into the back room. They prepare to leave, circling and brushing past each other in nearly identical backpacks. They're ostentatiously sly. The darker clouds are overtaking, maybe speeding away. Everyone is wondering will it rain? Trying to ignore these two pivoting on the linolium. They leave the door to the back room ajar.

31 May 2013