A. When will you come home?
A. What? I just want to know.
B. You know.
A. I know.
B. Don’t make this hard for you.
A. I’m not.
B. You said something
B. You said ‘everything’.
B. You just, popped up, and said it
A. What’d I say?
A. Everything the word.
B. It’s not seventy years later,
B. so it couldn’t have been everything everything.
A. Only seventy years?
A. Huh. I thought
B. I did too.
B. Going back to sleep?
A. Not just yet.
A. How about you
B. No. I can stay up.
A. Good. It’s less lonely this way.
B. I can imagine.
A. Not that watching you is exactly ‘the pits’
A. Is that too
B. No. I’m just trying to figure how pleased I should be that I’m not a boring sleeper.
A. Well, I wouldn’t go that far…
A. I mean, it’s not like you’re sleeptalking, or sleepdancing or sleeptryingtogetwithme
B. That’s good.
B. That’s bad?
A. It’s not bad, it’s just , you know, not not boring.
B. Then why watch me?
A. It’s just nice.
B. Nice but boring.
A. Not everything has to be exciting; sometimes what you want the most is something boringly nice.
B. Like rice, or ambient music;
A. or oak trees, or church;
B. or a conversation with your parents,
A. maybe your parents,
B. definitely my parents.
A. Well then it’s settled:
B. my parents– boring but nice.
A. The ideal way for parents to be.
B. I’m not complaining.
A. *chortle, snort*
B. What’s so funny?
A. I can’t stop picturing that your parents are Brian Eno and a bowl of rice.
A. You’re talking to them at an island; all three of you relaxed, casual. Real pleasant, mostly.
B. Which island? Are we standing on water…
A. No, like a kitchen island.
A. Brian Eno is there in his Steve Jobs turtleneck. The bowl of rice is porcelain and single portion sized.
B. It’s hard to imagine that I was once able to be carried in a bowl so small.
A. Brian Eno’s baldness is graying and so is the rice.
B. Does rice gray as it ages?
A. It’s becoming visibly crumby, and increasingly congealed.
B. What about the bowl?
A. Fading– like a book left out in the sun. Slowly, but by now significant enough to notice.
B. But we’re all happy, though?
A. Yes. I mean, I think so. Boring but nice– remember?
B. Yeah. I was just worried about what occasion has brought us back together.
A. Hmm. That’s true. I didn’t think about that.
B. Is it Christmas?
A. I can’t rule it out, but the sky is so sunny and looks so warm; there are no decorations up
B. and bowl of rice is a decorator
B. Yeah, you’re probably right. Well, if it’s not Christmas, and it is sunny and warm out, so it’s probably not Thanksgiving
A. No turkeys, no cornucopiae
B. Then that means it’s probably not a holiday.
B. Which means that it’s probably
A. a wedding or a funeral.
A. You don’t really go back for no reason.
B. What need is there, when our conversations are so nice
A. but boring.
B. Are there gifts?
B. Like, wedding gifts? Are there wedding gifts lying around?
A. Hmmmmmm, no.
A. But that could just mean it’s someone else’s wedding; it doesn’t have to be yours.
B. I was thinking maybe one of my siblings.
A. Aren’t they all already married?
A. So why would it be them.
B. I don’t know. Do we know for sure when this is?
A. You look like you look now.
B. Sure. Ok. But I don’t really go around drastically changing my appearance all the time.
A. True. It’s what I like best about you.
A. But I can just sort of tell, I think.
B. That it is now?
A. That it is close to now.
B. Well no one I know is getting married for, like, two years. So
A. But no one you know is dying, right
B. As far as I know
A. Maybe you’re just visiting — you don’t seem too distraught.
B. You can’t be sad all the time, even during a funeral trip.
B. Although, if we’re that relaxed or casual, it’s probably not anyone in my immediate family…
B. And Brian Eno and the bowl of rice– they’re not wearing anything particularly funereal, right?
A. Well Brian Eno is wearing a black turtleneck, but I think he always wears that in this version.
B. And the bowl of rice?
A. Is… a bowl of rice.
B. But she’s not in a special black mourning bowl?
A. You seem happy, so I don’t think it’s a funeral. Or at least, well.
B. At least well what?
A. You’re definitely not funeral sad, I’m pretty sure, and your parents aren’t sad.
B. Just pretty sure?
A. You’re a hard read. I’m pretty sure you’re not funeral sad but what evidence do I have to corroborate that interpretation.
B. You don’t.
A. And if it can’t be a wedding, and it’s probably not a birth?
B. Hm. Not if it’s one or two months from now.
A. So, maybe it’s a birthday?
B. I don’t know. My uncle’s birthday is next month, but I don’t see me coming home for that.
A. Well… it’s just a picture I saw, right
A. One in which your parents were replaced by nonsense objects.
B. That’s true
A. Maybe we shouldn’t read too much into it.
A. *snort, sprrtr, tss*
A. Hee heehe
A. Now I can’t stop picturing a young, long-horseshoe-haried Brian Eno going to town on a small bowl of a rice.
B. Oh, stop
A. Teeheeeheeheee he’s really giving your rice mom the business
A. Baahehhahahaaaheeha *snort, snort, inhale*