The Living Room
Rejoice in the Return of El Sid
The length of her was folded neatly in the sad little chair; flicking and clicking, eyes scanning, under-lit by Apple.
He spun through the nothingness of Twitter; ignoring his own computer atop the island, and the mileage left to go on the script. He spat an uninspired Tweet in an effort to assuage the guilt of non-productivity.
“That doesn’t even make sense,” she lifted her chin from her knees just enough to be heard, not breaking her gaze. “And shouldn’t you be finishing a script instead of Twitter-littering?”
“If it’s all the same to you, I can manage quite nicely without a scolding.”
“You know no one actually talks like that, right?” she sighed.
“Quite the opposite, Old Beast – the Lads and myself; who enjoy a pipe and brandy at the Pig and Whistle – each and all of them speak as I do. Properly.”
With a practiced fluidity she was on the floor; began typing again. “You’ve been reading too much Arthur Conan Doyle.”
“I’ve scarcely cracked the first volume!” he countered.
“You talk like goddamned Aleister Crowley,” she turned toward him, peering over the sofa back with a drained expression.
“I grew up in front of BBC everything on PBS,” his voice lifting in defense. “Look at me. I didn’t spend my youth playing Sport or nailing cheerleaders, for fuck’s sake!”
“You don’t say.”
Now she drew herself onto the sofa; closing the distance, arm slung over.
“I’ve heard you use the word ‘truncheon’,” she said. “More than once.”
“Indeed,” he remained fixated on the iTelephone, “often in concert with ‘belaboured’.”
Her lower lids snuck up a millimeter. “I bet you spelled that with a “u” in your mind, like the Anglicized prat you are.”
“I did, but I left ‘Anglicized’ with a “z” just now when you said it,” he turned to her. “And I’ve never, ever said ‘zed’. Ever.”
“Still,” the slightest shake of her head, “’truncheon’.”
“Pity I’ve never wielded one,” arching a brow.
Their eyes laid siege on each other; stalling further words. A stillness, not heated, but warming. The pause turned into a moment. Then into a long moment; as if none of the repartee had occurred; willowed away by the silence.
An expanse of wordlessness. Then:
“Who do you pretend is watching when we banter?”
He nodded slowly, the sense of it too solid to deny. She turned back to her work, his eyes dropped into short-focus, his mind alive with some vision.
“You?” her voice was even, pulling the drawstring of her hoodie across her lip and back as she scrolled.
“My Ex,” no hesitation, no contemplation. “And a studio audience, sometimes.”