I have an answer to your question, P. Win or lose today, you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
It takes a special kind of plane to become a firefighter.
Now listen to me and listen to me good! When your wife, on her honeymoon, asks you to cock her, you cock her good, God damn it!
I sit at a living room table patiently cutting a sign that says 40 out of coloured cardboard. Her husband is turning 40 and this is a surprise party for him. The sign I’m cutting out is pretty meaningless on the scale of the Solar system. Tomorrow it will be thrown out in the garbage and forgotten but today it connects me with people. As the guests come in I show them where to put their coats and point them to the bar. We chat, we laugh. I move the muscles of the mask that covers my pain, it becomes a face again. The feeling of warmth and love melts a small part of my pain. I am a tiny particle in the bigger body of humanity. Acknowledging it and extending my hand to other people saves me from slashing my wrists with a kitchen knife.
You know, sometimes I wonder…
Well… if I hadn’t been Fox Books and you hadn’t been The Shop Around the Corner, and you and I had just, well, met…
Yeah. I would have asked for your number, and I wouldn’t have been able to wait twenty-four hours before calling you and saying, ”Hey, how about… oh, how about some coffee or, you know, drinks or dinner or a movie… for as long as we both shall live?”
And you and I would have never been at war. And the only thing we’d fight about would be which video to rent on a Saturday night.
Well, who fights about that?
Well, some people. Not us.
We would never.
I gotta go.
Well, let me ask you something. How can you forgive this guy for standing you up and not forgive me for this tiny little thing of… of putting you out of business?
[Kathleen starts to cry]
Oh, how I wish you would.
I really have to go.
Yeah, well… you don’t want to be late.
What about me? Am I your friend? Or am I just some… some widget to help you make Sylvia feel better about herself? Why did you invite me to be part of your book club? No, what went through your mind the first time you saw me? ”There’s a man who is *dying* to read every book Jane Austen ever wrote.” Is that what you thought?
But I thought, ”What a beautiful woman. I hope she looks over at me.” I thought if I read your favorite books that you would read mine. But no… no, no. You just want to be obeyed. That’s why you have dogs.
My fear is that I’m gonna put you in a bikini and you’ll still look like a fucking bank teller.
My teacher tells me beauty is on the inside.
That’s just something ugly people say.