Friday, March 25, 2016

Usable Parts

“I have several usable parts, but the thing as a whole lacks cohesion.” He held a pint of porter in one hand, a book on randomness in the other. He wore black jeans and a black T-shirt, almost the uniform of an unironic iconoclast 20 years his junior. He'd outlived irony and iconclasm, but not black clothes or the need to pontificate to strangers just met.

“What will you do?” she asked, twirling her hair with one hand, swirling her glass of pinot noir with the other. The answer didn't matter to her, she just liked to hear the sound of his voice. It reminded her of a time long since gone, when she was younger and more full of life. She imagined him that way, too, though they'd only known each other for 20 minutes—or at least as much as any two people can be said to know each after such a brief time.

“I'll rearrange them and hope it all somehow makes sense.” Not that he believed in magic, but it helped to believe in something—himself, perhaps. That was another thing he needed to work on, though he hardly had the time or inclination.

“I'm sure it will all work out,” she replied, still twirling and swirling. Her mind was doing cartwheels as she imagined other gymnastics they might perform together in the not too distant future. They could rearrange each other until it all somehow made sense. That would be good.

“Yes,” he said between sips of porter, “I'm sure it will.” He felt the warmth of her voice and was glad for her company. If he wouldn't believe in himself, maybe she could do it for both of them. That would be good.

They had usable parts. They lacked cohesion. And so they sat, sipping.

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