fragment | v

“hello, trouble.”

“we’re using nicknames now? very well. hello, goner.”

“why goner?”

“why trouble?”

“i asked first.”

“fine. because you are.”

“in what way?”

“oh, come on. don’t tell me you’re going to play oblivious now.”

“i’m not playing anything. i’m not even pretending to know what you’re talking about. i just asked you a simple question. in what way have you determined i’m a goner?”

“in your long, exasperated, frequent sighs at apparently nothing in particular. in the squinched-eyebrow expression on your face as you repeatedly walk up and down the street, seemingly very interested in the tops of your shoes. in the casual comments you drop with an air of careful nonchalance.”

“and how do you derive your supposition from these supposed facts? there could be a half a dozen other explanations far more logical than the one you’re trying to peddle.”

“i could read the story off your face and hear it in the tone of your voice, even if those “supposed facts,” as you called them, were entirely untrue. which they aren’t.”

“and, from all of this, you think … ?”

“yes. i do.”

“it’s your fault, you know.”

“no, it isn’t. i merely provided the means — you decided the end.”

“there would not have been this ending to decide had you not provided the means.”

“and how do you know that? if it was meant to be, it would have happened with or without me. there are actions and reactions, and there are ordinations. that’s life. it has nothing to do with me.”

“i can’t tell whether that’s cynical or fatalistic.”

“does it have to be either?”

“given the context, one or the other seems appropriate.”

“so. why trouble?”

“after all this, do you have to ask?”

“probably not. but i’m going to. why trouble?”

“because you are.”