|Lunch with Susan (standard:drama, 2573 words)|
|Author: Theo Carlson||Added: Jan 10 2001||Views/Reads: 2520/1509||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Sometimes the end of a relationship can make a man a little crazy…but what if he was insane to begin with?|
Lunch with Susan By Theo Carlson "I should think you’d be more charitable during the last minutes of our lives," I mused with genuine disappointment to Susan as she sat wide-eyed and shaking behind her chamomile tea. I bit back my rage and ran the fingers of both hands through my hair and locked them together, as best as I could, at the back of my head. Ironically, I looked like a prisoner. I was collecting myself. My attempt to affect a calm, relaxed, demeanor had failed and the darkness retreated not at all. I could feel the violent malevolence prowling in my belly ready to tear and bite and revenge the thousand torturous cuts received over the last few hours. This morning I discovered that Susan had been having an extra-marital affair for the past six months - with me. I played back every lie she ever had told me in a continuous loop. I tortured my soul with each prevarication until I was nearly senseless. I imagined tearing out my hair and gouging out my eyes. Mentally, I committed mass murder and suicide. My mind was an abyss of chaos and death. I smiled. I was curious as to his reaction. What did the other obtuse angle in this triad think? I asked. "He doesn’t know," she stammered. "Or, he didn’t when I came here." He knew. By now, everybody did. I had joined her in the first booth by the door at the diner we’d been having lunch in lately. She had ordered tea while she waited for me and was sipping daintily from the large blue cup as I sat down. I remember thinking how young and innocent she seemed. She looked like a child who wishes to be taken seriously but can’t because she is drinking from a cup as big as her head. This thought made tickled the corners of my mouth into a grin. She looked up at me and spoke: "I’m married," she said. No greeting, no we need to talk, she addressed me as if I were a barfly instead of a lover. The sound I made must have sounded like a disinterested chuckle, my appreciation of an amusing, if distasteful irony because she looked relieved and slightly smug. The sound I made was, instead, a barely audible grunt that usually precedes the lifting of a steamer trunk or follows a rabbit punch. I marveled at the tempest of emotions that followed from this small release of pressure which ranged from amusement to despair. The most fitting one, though, was a combination of indignation and rage. Susan and I were the only patrons save for two old men; two grouchy, complaining, loitering old men with far too much opinion and far too little sense having "Just Coffee" and sharing the newspaper. They commented when appropriate and when not appropriate on the news of the day. It was the same news as every day, poor people starving, women in fear of psychos and rapists on the street, politicos getting rich or getting caught. The opinions that they offered to no one in particular consisted of reading a sentence or a fragment or a word and pronouncing "Humph!" I turned my attention from the old men back to Susan. She looked so small and fragile, this insidious serpent; her long slender fingers clasped the mug as though it were a shield. She struggled to speak, to qualify her actions. I wondered why this Judas, who had taken my life, who had called this cozy lunch meeting to inform my that my services were no longer needed, felt the need to explain at all. My whole body was tense. I set my jaw as if attempting to shatter my teeth against each other. She continued to chatter, but I heard her now as a man underwater. I was busy editing and re-editing the endless loop so that I could begin to mentally flog myself with regret, loss and angst. Click here to read the rest of this story (206 more lines)
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