Jack says, “Fairytales are stupid,” and I ask, “This is the first time you’ve thought that?” and Jack says, “No. Maybe. No more so than now anyway,” and I reply, “You only hate the impossibility of them, that life’s not how books are, how films think, how TV shows portray it.” He taps at his phone, the light bleeding like paint on silk, not contained by the constraints we put on it, and I imagine what he’s looking at: Blair’s dress, Chuck’s expression, quotes from both or either of them. When I ask what he’s doing Jack says, “Plato thinks we’re doomed, and we’ll not find what we want, and we’re halves, and our navels are scars the other left.”
“We are?” I ask, knowing he’s not into fatalism, hasn’t been held by a doctrine since he was ten, not consistently anyway. But you always hope, or I do, to be the one to change things. Then hope is erased and the traces left are outlines of altogether different concepts, words from the mouths of people we’ve never met.