Eavesdropping

October 4, 2008

by Cathy Borders

The Grim Reaper sits down between a couple at a coffee shop; they don’t notice him.

Girl: “Don’t look at me like that.”

Boy: “Well, stop crying. Everyone will think I’m an asshole.”

Girl: “No one will think you’re an asshole.”

Boy: “The one is made up of all things and all things stem from the one.”

Girl: “Don’t get dogmatic on me.”

Boy: “Don’t tell me no one’s looking at me.”

Girl: “I just don’t want you looking at me like that.”

Boy: “Like what?”

The Grim Reaper looks at his watch, and then takes a sip of coffee.

Girl: “Like you lost me.”

Boy: “I did lose you. Are you mental? We broke up.”

Girl: “Kind of. There are various categories of together.”

Boy: “You knew what this was.”

She begins to cry. The Grim Reaper gets up from the table and goes to get another packet of sugar and a doughnut. Except for some intermittent sighs, the couple remains silent until he sits down.

Girl: “I’ve been suicidal.” The Grim Reaper’s black face perks up at this.

Boy: “But not entirely.” The Grim Reaper lends his hand for a high-five, but the boy does not see him.

Girl: “I like living on the edge.”

Boy: “What’d ya use?”

Girls: “Mainly pills, but I think I’ll try a razor next time.”

Boy: “Oh, the possibility of impossibility.”

Girl: “No, the other way around.”

Boy: “You were always ‘being towards death.’”

Girl: “Is that why you broke up with me? I’m too passive?”

Boy: “Stop playing semantic games.”

Girl: “Where is the dividing line between being and language?”

The Grim Reaper faux coughs and then blows on his knuckles before shining the breast pocket of his black cloak.

Boy: “We should stop sleeping together.”

Girl: “Even if we do stop sleeping together we won’t really stop sleeping together.”

Boy: “You will eventually start sleeping with someone else. And then you will eventually forget me. Well, maybe not me, but my smell, my circumlocutions.”

Girl: “Perhaps. But I’m not interested in annihilating you at this moment.”

Boy: “You just did.”

Girl: “Did what?”

Boy: “Annihilate me.”

Girl: “I can’t annihilate you. Words cannot describe my feelings for you.”

Boy: “I figured.”

The Grim Reaper puts his boney hand to his invisible forehead.

Girl: “I think about you in two ways.”

Boy: “Or two of you think about me.”

Girl: “I’ll have to think about that.”

Boy: “I think I should go.”

Girl: “I’ll go. But don’t watch me leave.”

Boy: “Fine. But don’t say I never did anything for you.”

The girl gets up to leave. She packs her things, and the Grim Reaper escorts her home. The boy does not look at her as she does any of these things.