Real-life conversation (part one)
—Did I ask for the date?
—Did you ask me for a date? I’m startled and flattered, in roughly that order.
—Let’s go see that movie tonight. The one with the yoga instructor.
—Your yoga instructor or mine?
—I don’t have one. I don’t do any yoga anymore, remember? I got tired of taking my mat everywhere I went. It became a professional liability. I think the perpetual yoga matting was a reason I got fired at the Institute.
—You weren’t happy there anyway. You would always complain. And what it did to your breath, skin, mind, soul.
—In roughly that order.
—You were a zombie. You would come home and play the harpsichord and not talk to me. Did you strategically forget to remember this? You would drink scotch and stare at the dog. I wasn’t attractive to you anymore. You accused me of bearing another man’s child.
—Yes. The thing was, I didn’t know a Toby. Neither did you.
—In my mind, Toby was the editor of a ladies’ undergarment trade journal, a roguish sort who always got his way.
—I was powerless to resist.
—It was the way his gel-slicked pompadour captured the rays of a dying sun.
—It was the way his eyes seemed to draw one in.
—Music could be heard every time he walked into a room.
—Toby. Toby the psychic. Toby the thaumaturge. Toby the rebel leader.
—He wore a loincloth to the office. He came from a family of Thibetan nomads.
—He could levitate entire bodies of water. His followers would quickly duck under the floating H20, scamper to the other side. In his later years, what they call “after years” in certain books of yore, his powers waned a touch. Some of his devotees got a bit wet when the agua came crashing down.
—Nothing too serious, though.
—No. He was well-liked by all. Though he was a rogue. And though he impregnated every woman he so much as glanced at. His eyes.
—I’m getting a drink. Do you want one?
—From the fridge? There’s nothing in the fridge.
—Oh? Nothing, really?
—We no longer have a fridge. They confiscated it last week, after the blackout.
—You were sleeping. Actually, you had blacked out.
—After a night of drinking with Toby, I expect.
—I think you OD’d on frog’s legs. It’s a nasty meal. I don’t see why you persist.
—It’s the way my parents brought me up. But I can see how, in this country, such tastes could be considered aberrant, even dangerous, by the powers that be.
—I’m one of the powers that be now, in case you didn’t know.
—That’s awesome. Can you make a fridge appear, full of beverages and week-old Chinese takeout.
—That can be arranged, yes.