Because Of

And they agree to go out for dinner together.  Neither of them have interesting jobs so they do not talk about that.  All he will say about work is:  “I was too hot all day because I had to wear a jumper to cover up the fact that my shirt was really, really creased.”  She laughs as though he has actually told a funny joke and he just looks confused and uncomfortable.  Neither of them are hungry so they share a sandwich and then go for a walk in the city.  They find a bench in the park and they sit together with their eyes closed, and tell each other fake truths – long and detailed secrets which they describe in such earnest tones that it doesn’t matter whether they are being dishonest with one another or not.  She tells him about the time that:  “My parents left the country, abandoning me in the care of some mutually disliked neighbours, and it was only ten years later during a walk home from work – I had just walked past the house that sells the eggs in a little stall at the end of the drive, and the house next door which had the dogs, whose garden I always looked in to see what was happening because first there were no dogs, then there were dogs, and then shortly after there was a small fence because the dogs were getting out of control and had to be kept in, and then soon after that the fence was taller, and then even taller, and then one day the fence had come down and there was no sign of the dogs and just some children standing on the roof of the kennel, whooping and hollering and carrying on like the whole world was going to the dogs, so I was interested to see what would happen next – and anyway, I was just walking along on my way home from work when my parents drove past and it turned out they’d been living in the next village along for the last ten years.”  Their accounts are not as dry and humourless as their lives – they make bleak jokes and hollow puns to illustrate their tales, though these are not the important parts.  The stories wind deep into the night and the city changes around them, growing darker and deeper and more real and.


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