The Never Happy Ending Story
I have nothing against happy endings except, well, really, I don’t see any. Happy middles — moments in the present, or in the past as memories, or even in the future dressed up as hopes and plans — sure, I’m all over those. But even the best stage entertainments have a curtain call.
Pausing over a sip of coffee, as an actor might to emphasize a statement, he declares — I guess I see myself an optimistic pessimist.
She responds by sliding her eyeglasses down her nose, giving him a hard look over the top of them, her smile slowly blossoming in a close up.
They had come out the movie theater, wandered the evening streets for a while holding hands, and when a slight drizzle kicked up they came into this cafe. And here they are, still under the influence of the film, discussing life, back and forth philosophizing; no script but that of two people on a first date. [Note, all smiles throughout this are genuine.]
I suppose some might see that as a character flaw, she says. A red flag. I’m guessing my friends would suggest your perspective on reality doesn’t hold any long term promise.
So how long were you thinking, he playfully gibes. If it’s more than once again my 43 times around the sun then the odds get pretty bad. You also have to figure in that I used to smoke, am about 15 pounds overweight, and most significantly, as you know, all the newspaper articles say that a sunny disposition is necessary to live longer.
I guess that’s better than being a pessimistic optimist, she says. Then you’d be one of those who sees negativity in pleasure and put their the hopes on someday spending all eternity celebrating the holidays with deceased family. And by the way, that was a excellent film, she adds. Great conversation starter, that line — “Tragedy confronts. Comedy escapes.”! Here we are, hours later, still endeavoring to deliberate the meaning of life. Thanks for recommending it.
So glad you liked it. I love films that show Comedy and Tragedy cutting a rug on the dance floor, he replies, especially if the characters and the camera are capable of exposing the two of them stepping all over each other’s toes, as they tend to do off the screen.
Pardon the almost non sequitur, but, speaking of dancing, she asks: What are you doing next Saturday? . . . If you’re alive.
Seventeen of thirty-one stories — 500 words or less, written one-per-day during December 2018 — The Hunt & Peck Parables PatchWord Quilt™©.
© AleXander Hirka 2019. All Rights Reserved.