conversation, a

By September 3, 2013stories

This grey room has one chair in it and one light with a fan. There is a door in the corner, a closed door. The chair is able to tilt back and so M, sitting in the chair, is nearly lying down, with his eyes closed. With no physical form apparent to him, a soft and monotone voice appears to come from amidst the gloom.

L: Do you see me?

M: Why wouldn’t I be able to?

L: Don’t answer a question with a question.

M: Why not?

L: You did it again.

M: When?

L: Just now.

An echo travels through the room as they speak, bringing M to the point of awareness in his chair, yet leaving him somewhat. The fan keeps spinning and provides the only noise in the room, its constant droning slowly subsiding to the feeling of unease and the conversation to come.

M: Where are you?

L: I’m still working on that part. Do I sound monotone to you?

M: No more than I.

M comes up in his chair as he says this, the legs creaking eerily as they move his weight upright. Again, there is silence. He looks around, but doesn’t notice anything. There are no other objects in the room to cause shadows so he has nothing to focus on try as he might, he sees nothing but the dim shadow of the fan blades trolling the ceiling, much like a beacon slowly turning as if also engaged in an unending search for that which is not there.

M: I’m not sure.

L: Of?

M: Whether I see you or not.

L: Thought so.

M: Why’s that?

L: I don’t exist.

M: Then we’re really not having this conversation?

L: This is very weird. I’m not entirely sure what’s happening.

M: Buddy, you’re not sure? I may be losing my mind here if you don’t exist.

L: What about me? I have feelings too. At least, I think I do. My name’s Larry.

M: Are you sure?

L: Not at all. I also may or may not be a chipmunk.

Confused, M gets up and starts walking around. He walks to the door; it’s closed.

L: So which one of us is real and which isn’t?

M: Hmm. Good question. Maybe we should flip a coin.

L: It’s a good a thing as any to do.

M: [Taking out a coin] I didn’t know I had this. [He flips the coin, it seems caught in the air as time moves slowly around it. He is pausing, contemplating, trying to make this inane conversation work to his advantage. Suddenly, it lands and makes a loud echo]. M speaks now with conviction.

M: This conversation is boring me.

L: It’s making me uneasy.

M: Why’s that?

M picks up the coin and walks back to the chair. He keeps flipping the coin and walking circles around the chair, never leaving its presence as if in fear that it too will become unreal to him.

L: It feels like I’m speaking to myself. But then, I may be a figment of my own imagination, which would be baffling to understand how I could be thinking in the first place. If I knew a little bit more about where I was, seeing as I can’t see; how I feel, seeing as I can’t comprehend emotion; what I am, seeing as how this is all hearsay. You know, that sort of thing.

M stops walking.

M: Are you finished?

L: Yes.

M: To answer your question; no, I don’t see you.

L: Didn’t think so. Thanks.

The door suddenly closes as M quickly turns to it. He had not seen it open or close, and there is still nobody else in the room as the loud uneasy droning of the fan once more fills his senses.

He is alone.