Conversation in a Car

Conversation in a Car

Status: Finished

Genre: Literary Fiction


Status: Finished

Genre: Literary Fiction


It is about a conversation in a car....


It is about a conversation in a car....


Submitted: August 31, 2012

A A A | A A A


Submitted: August 31, 2012



Conversation in a Car

“So what did you do today?” she asked matter of factly.

“Today was a day spent deliberating over my mistakes and misdeeds. I have relived a lifetime of unspeakable tragedy and regret over in my head - all in 24 hours. “

“So what will you do tomorrow?”

“I’ll try to forget today.” As he spoke he looked directly ahead of himself, taking care to avoid unnecessary eye contact. His crystal clear tone was measured and expert in its precision. By some alchemical combination of the Latin brand of natural self-confidence with years of elite British schooling and legal training, it was a mode of speaking that he had grown accustomed to. Others tolerated it and loathed it in equal measure. But in an act of deliberate defiance against the prevailing orthodoxy of social norms of the time, he maintained the same icily cool authority over others even when engaged in social conversation.

“So what do you want to do now?” Her head was dropped, tilted to one side. She was peering into him from the corner of her eye. He knew what all of this meant.

“I want to be a big black guy who works as a personal trainer and picks up Polish women in the gym.” He paused and clasped his hands together. “But as that is not going to happen, I think I’ll go home and wash dishes, wax floors…Scrape the paint off doorhandles. That type of thing.”

She laughed incredulously. Although he was reassuringly consistent in his peculiarly provocative brand of humour, it still managed to surprise her every time. There was something in the almost morbidly serious delivery of his ludicrous and often shocking responses to basic questions that seemed to enforce the overall flow of the conversation, even though what he was saying always ran against it.

She grabbed his hand and pulled it towards her waist. His head remained unturned. Somehow his glance forever fixated on some unescapable and horrifying truth before him. She crisscrossed her fingers with his and placed his hand on her breast at which point he turned to face her. She tried to steal the opportunity to draw his attention by looking at him and smiling poutily but he turned away and recoiled his hand. He proceeded to take his phone out of his pocket and read a text message.

“Why don’t you smile ever?”

“’Why don’t I ever smile?’ One of the great mysteries of the 21st century. Why do musicians never play musical instruments? Why do Romanian girls ask guys stupid questions in cars? And why does Elliot never smile?

She pulled his arm around her waist, pulling him closer to her and rested her head on his shoulder, gazing up at him adoringly. His face was a strange mix of light and darkness, of the beautiful and the destructive. His Latin features were arranged almost delicately sitting in perfect symmetry and framed by jet black hair. His lips were full and soft and his skin was smooth and shimmering in the moonlight so that from this angle, he looked girlishly pretty. But as soon as he turned to face her and he looked into her eyes, in a moment of stormy excitement his face seemed transformed and she was reminded of his destructive potential. The look on his face was severe and dangerous. His serial killer eyes were a torrent of shocking ocean blue which seemed to conceal a barely sublimated violence frothing beneath the surface in a world of nightmare deeps and absolute darkness. This was a world she barely knew and one she suspected would be too dangerous to explore. But in that brief moment, as he looked at her and his eyes resembled two awful crashing oceans, she thought she could fall in love with him.

“I think you need to go.” He turned away from her as he spoke and looked straight ahead again into the pitch black darkness outside. “Your friend will be expecting you shortly. And if she’s going to think you’ve been raped, it will give me more of a reason to do it.”

“It wouldn’t be rape if I want you to.”

“Do you remember what we decided when we first met?”

“What do you mean?”

“What I mean - to be quite clear about this most indelicate of matters - is that when you and I first met, we discussed what we both wanted. We have reached a juncture in time at which we should be asking if we both got what we wanted.”

“You mean our arrangement?”

“Arrangement? That’s not the word I would use. However you did say that you were looking for a relationship that was not serious because you were too busy for a boyfriend at the moment.”

“Yes I’m very busy these days. I don’t have much time. Because of my job.”

“Because of your job. So we’ve known eachother for – what? Three months now? And we’ve met three times. I don’t think that it would be fair to say that we have achieved our objectives.”

“Which objectives?”

“Well, we haven’t really done much. Apart from to meet for an hour once a month and speak like this.”

She drew his face to hers. “So what are you suggesting?”

“I am not suggesting anything.”

“Yes you are. You are basically asking when we are going to have sex.”

“No. That is plainly factually incorrect. I do not recall saying that at any point during this conversation. As far as I am aware, we were both speaking the same language too.”

“Ok. So what is your suggestion?”

“I have no suggestion. I have simply made an observation about the trajectory of the past three months.”

“It’s been two months.”

“Whatever. In two months, we’ve met twice for two hours. We’re not going to be boyfriend and girlfriend. We have already established that. We’re not having sex either. We’re just in this strange middling territory which seems to be everything but nothing at the same time.”

“Are you alone at the moment?”

“I’m never really alone. Nobody is. I’m with Jesus.”

“I mean at home. Are you alone?” She kneeled into him and breathed into his ear.

“We all are in the Sylvia Plath sense. But it’s ok. I’ve decided take up stalking as a hobby. There’s an old man who lives next door to me who looks pretty good with a walking frame.”

“But where are your friends right now?” She licked his finger tips and ran them over the smooth, moist surface of her red lips.

“There’s not a day that goes by when I do not ask myself the same question.”

“But is there anyone else inside your house? Are you alone?”

“Yes! I’m alone. Jesus. Thank you for rubbing it in.”

She pulled his hand into the warm space between her legs and squeezed her thighs together. He looked up at her but by now her eyes were fixated on the hard and pulsating new shape of his manhood in his trousers. She began to trace the length of it with her fingers as she calculated its dimensions before rubbing and squeezing it down as best as she could with both hands. His eyes were still fixed ahead of him and as much as his body seemed ready to take her, he still wasn’t pulling the trigger.

“So you’re home alone now?”

“Yes. I am. Just me and my writing with a bottle of Jack Daniels to keep me company. And I’m already tired of fucking that bottle of Jack Daniels.” His electric blue eyes were two oceans of pulsating, hydraulic energy but the tone of his voice was grave as he spoke. After all these weeks had passed she still could not figure him out. There was a certain dignity in the fearlessness of the things he said, which in itself was powerfully enigmatic. But what did it mean? Was he suggesting that he was lonely or depressed? Or was this his own strange way of suggesting he wanted to have sex with her? Or was he simply perennially so bored and hard to please in life that this was no more than a joke with which to pass the time?

“Kiss me.” She was speaking breathily in a moment of pure unbridled emotional sincerity but still he did not duly respond.

She proceeded to take his hand in her own and bring it to his mouth, pinching the skin between his knuckles with her teeth. “The thing is, I think I really need sex. Whatever you were suggesting, I do want to sleep with you.”

“You really have tried the full range of seduction techniques on me today. That is something I have to congratulate you on. You’ve shown a lot of skill and courage and it has been a truly memorable effort.”

At this stage she burst into laughter. What she felt was more a sense of relief than anything else. She was through trying now. At least it was all over. Although she had not succeeded, she had the feeling that he was enjoying the joke with her rather than at her. That same sturdy and dependable deadpan delivery reassured her somehow that he had appreciated the irony and the tragedy of the situation kindly enough to silently join in the laughter.

“So you’re alone?”


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