The One Thing He’s Done Wrong

Jack asks, “Who leaves the house on Valentine’s Day, who goes to town if they can avoid it?” when we’re in a cinema queue and the box office boy says they’re breaking records, expect distractions, shadows on screens and popcorn lodged in your neck creases.

He’s not wrong but some girls in front are in the wrong seats and the others, the girls who think they should be sitting there, stand next to us, sit in the aisles, and the ongoing whispers obstruct the dialogue, make the wedding scene seem layered, when really, it’s just a wedding. All it takes is one person picking wrong, sitting wrong, unsure where they should be, to throw the whole thing off.

Outside after we sip the coke we shouldn’t have bought and berate ourselves and the buses and the cinema-goers and we vow to make better decisions, to avoid perfect storm sort of situations, and we claw back time where we can but we can’t because you can’t claw time back.

She’s Just a Picture

Jack asks, “If you could pick an Olsen twin, which would you pick?” like it’s a question he’s been waiting to ask that we all have an answer to, like, “What’s your religious stance?” or, “Do you like popcorn?” (which I’ve found to be more complicated than a yes or a no thing).

“Which one was in Beastly?” I ask, unsure of the difference after a certain point, although I’m familiar with the sliding scales of blonde hairdressers suggest now.

“The wrong one,” Jack replies, “But they recited Frank O’Hara in it, and Neil Patrick Harris was in it.” I know but it’s better to leave experts thinking they’re experts, unless you’re ready prepared for disappointed eyes and layered responses that prove you know less than they do. You definitely do.

“The song stuck in my head,” he says, he continues, “and I picture her face when I hear it.” I Google the lyrics but can only think of paint and wallpaper and Johnny Cash.