March 26, 2015
A fortyish man works on his laptop. Short with thinning hair, he has lively blue eyes and a handsome face. A woman enters. Wearing a camel hair, double-breasted coat, her blunt cut blonde hair frames a weary, pretty face.
Woman: Excuse me? Is anyone sitting here? *indicates seat next to him*
Man: No, go right ahead. *smiles* *sips coffee* *goes back to keystroking*
Woman: I hope I’m not bothering you. I’m the social type. I like to talk.
Man: No, You’re not bothering me. I’m just trying to get some work done and—
Woman: Then I am bothering you! I’m so sorry.
Man: No, it’s fine. Really.
Woman: It’s just that I have control over whether I talk to you or not. Sometimes in life you don’t have any control at all.
Man: We may not be able to control it, but I like to think we can influence it.
Woman: Not when you’ve been married for twenty-five years and your husband ups and dies. There’s nothing you can influence about that.
Man: No, I guess you can’t.
Woman: It’s why I like to be social and talk. People aren’t meant to be cooped up and alone so I get out and socialize, but you’re on that computer, aren’t you? I call it “a bible” because that’s what it is.
Man: *laughs* I am on it a lot.
Woman: You have to interact. It’s why I refuse to go on these computer dating sites. They’re so impersonal. I don’t like impersonal. When I meet someone, I want to look in their eyes.
Man: *becoming increasingly uncomfortable about direction of conversation* I don’t have to worry about that. I’m married. *points to wedding ring*
Woman: Oh, you’re married! How many kids?
Man: *holds up two fingers*
Woman: Two. Oh, my! In my first marriage, I never had any children. I was afraid of all the responsibilities. I just felt one day I’d snap and say, “Take them back!” to my husband.
Man: I see.
Woman: How long have you been married?
Man: Fifteen years.
Woman: My first husband left me after ten years. Ten years … that’s how long you’ve been married, right? I forgot what you said. How many years did you say?
Woman: Fifteen. That’s right. My second marriage lasted twenty-five, but he died. It's what I meant. I have no control over that, and I certainly can't influence it.
Man: No, not something like that.
Woman: So what am I supposed to do? Sit at home and stare at the walls? It’s no good being alone. It’s why I socialize.
Man: Yes, you should.
Woman: I guess I'm just not lucky in this life. Well, thank you. I need to go home and I’ll leave you to your work.
Woman: Yes, goodbye.
Woman gets up and exits. A strong breeze ruffles her hair as she walks down the street—alone.