Thursday, January 29, 2009

Two Old Friends Discussing Another Old Friend

He hurries to the van. Inside, a man with a cleft lip sits waiting for him. These two men hate each other. They have forgotten why. It is only natural, they feel, to detest the man you have to drive about with all day.

“Were you in there long?”

“I’ve forgotten.”

“And was she there?”

“She appeared to be.”

“Did you hurt her?”

“I tried.”

“And were you at all successful?”

“She began to speak.”


“I said ‘she began to speak.’”


“I think so, yes.”

“And did you hurt her very badly?”

“I think so.”

“And the sack?”

“It was over her head.”

“Yes. But did you see her?”


“Her face?”

“All red, splotchy.”

“And the sack?”

“Warm. Not dry.”

“Not dry?”


“All over?”

“Just the mouth and eyes.”

“And the others?”


“Did they speak?”

“All of them.”


“At the table.”

“Did they agree?”

“I told them to please not speak about the splotches.”

“And she?”

“Screamed at me. With her voice. I was not to have said anything.”

“And did you hurt her very badly?”

“I tried.”

“And the splotches?”

“All over.”

“And downstairs?”

“His voice.”

“Did he mind?”

“He didn’t say. He seemed to.”

The man with the cleft lip starts the van. He turns towards the man dressed just like him and grimaces. Finally, the man with the cleft lip accelerates the van, and the two men are off.

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