1: Where you been?
2: Around … endings … beginnings, thinking of you, but can’t seem to get off the dime. What happened to our love?
1: I don’t know. It’s a black hole. No more movement, no time. Yeah, we’re presenting ourselves by standing still these days. It’s an old trick of the hiding children, when they run out of a village and into the bush, they’re always very close, sitting there, hiding behind a tree, maybe even in a field of flowers, looking up at the sky, trying to get away from some group of fucked up people.
2: The Theory of Hiding Children. Is that one yours? Does it go along with the corollary, what are you doing differently? I really like that one. Whenever something is going wrong, I always ask myself, now what am I doing differently?
1: Yeah, I use it all the time. It helps to explain the cuts on my legs and how my head swivels with greater alacrity, almost joke-like. I think one of my vertebra moved. Don’t ask me how, but it moved and my mind painted a happy face on it just for show.
2) Speaking of these things, I often stand motionless and let people pass me by. They are usually all dressed in black. Nobody looks or seems to care. I freeze in a spot like literary characters from my past. Did I ever tell you I had trouble with dentists? You see, when I was a big reader, back before the War of the Ten Prophets … well, I’d come across things that I wanted to absorb and so I’d take pages from books and glue them to the roof of my mouth. The glue would last for a couple days anyway and by then I’d get the idea. If I was kissing some mechanical boy or if the dentist had me in the chair for cleaning, I always had problems. Did you know that ideas can pass through your mouth, your teeth and get into the mechanisms that move you through the day? Did you know that? Sometimes they line the little heart wheels and when they do, well everything can change.
1: I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t know about any of that.
2: Hot hell, I know something you don’t know. That’s a good one.
1: Your eyes don’t look so good.
2: I don’t know. It’s like a new star shining into my head and the light comes out my eyes and people think they look funny and I have to explain about my eyes. It’s so boring. Have you changed the way you present yourself. Do you have any new body parts?
1: Yes, I have am extension on my penis. Would you like to see it? It’s from Africa.
2: Sure. Extensions are always fun.
In that moment he, 1, pulled her, 2, into his extension and the time swirled across a savanna in Africa. They passed trees filled with white birds and clouds developing like kingdoms. Within a few seconds they had walked days searching for the village on his map. They were almost out of water and when he finally saw the village in the far distance she asked if they could rest, since in a few hours they’d be safe. He told her as long as they could find shade, and so they sat beneath a large rock that had taken a million years to arrive at the perfect spot. Touch me she said, touch me here and she held his hand up to her heart. He could feel it whirling around and around and then she said, love me like you used to love me, even though we are dry and without approval, we can do it here can’t we?
Why not, he said. They began to make love with soft sighs and a certain kind of constrainment, dying like two detectives in a novel about the darkest side, where both of them ended up in a house without happiness. As they moved back and forth, their bodies vibrated all the way to the village on his map. Horses and cows were on fire and the children were running into the bush, hiding beneath flowers. The flames outlined the soldiers throwing people into a well and they swept over the children and left them where they lay, surrounded by burned flowers. The eyes of the children were all open, staring upward into something that was no longer there.
1 and 2 looked at the village on the horizon. They could see the fire.
Don’t stop, 2 said. Don’t stop for anything.
1 closed his eyes and fell inward.