A sense of accomplishment (part 3)
"What are you thinking?," she suddenly asks.
"I had a therapist who would always ask me that. It annoyed me, that's why I stopped seeing her. I thought about it later on & realized the point in going to therapy is to talk & I was never any good at that."
"Could've fooled me. You didn't answer my question though."
"You still haven't answered mine."
"Why you prefer fact."
"Because nobody wants to prove fiction wrong, since it is fiction."
"Are you an anarchist then?"
"I'm a purveyor of truth. Did you know most of the stuff we're taught in school is bullshit?"
"I did know that. So why is it so important to you that the truth be told?"
"Because liars are the basic form of humanity at its worst. Liars are the cause of everything bad that happens in life. & it's so easy & it's so addictive & because of that, it attracts stupid people. Which of course means most people."
I had to laugh.
"Are you one of those people that has like 15 dogs but no friends?"
"I don't have any pets," she replies, "& I don't have any friends. But it's not because I don't like people. I make friends all the time, I just never keep any of them. Less baggage."
"For you or them?"
She laughs now.
"You know, if you were trying to get in my pants, your chances would be in the negative by now."
"Why do you say it like that; if you were? Like you know I'm actually not trying?"
"Then why does it bother you how I say it?"
I let the soundscape of the bar speak for me briefly.
"I guess it's just difficult to lose the fantasy, you know?"
"What do you mean?", she asks, "what fantasy?"
I drink, leaving the tumbler near empty.
"Everyone has a fantasy in their head; every time they go outside, every time they interact with someone, every time they think about doing anything. That fantasy where everything works out exactly the way they want. I don't go out much, let alone to bars, let alone to pick girls up. It was just a fantasy that flashed through my brain as soon as you walked up because that's never happened before."
"What's never happened? A girl asking you for a cigarette?"
"A girl talking to me, period."
Her face dropped a bit when she realized I was serious.
She drank, then asked for another lucky. I handed her one, struck a match & lit it.
"Life is difficult & complicated & absurd," she said, "it's not easy to take it lightly but that doesn't mean you have to take yourself seriously."
I didn't know what to say or do, but I desperately wanted my fantasy to be real in that moment.
"So, what were you in therapy for?," I suddenly heard.
"Depression & anxiety. Who knows, if I had kept going, maybe she would've found something else."
"Are you artistic, then?"
"Isn't it a theory that many of the great artist had some kind of mental disorder & that's part of what made them artistic?"
"I'm not really the creative type," I say.
"Well then, I guess you're letting your disorders go to waste."
That made me smile.
"I never thought of it that way. You're pretty smart, whatever your name is."
"So, if you're not artistic, then what do you do?"
Someone finally announced the play, so I stood. She didn't.
"You're not here for the play?"
"No," she said, standing & finishing off the tumbler, "I'm here for the weirdos."
She walked off with the most endearing smile I'd ever seen.
#short story #fiction #prose