Stage Fright

“When you get married all you have to look forward to is walking the dogs,” he said.

He wore a brown tweed suit with the matching tie, socks the perfect shade of suede. You know, the type that spells money. He sipped on his chardonnay, twirling the liquid in a contemplative glaze.

“It’s great to get out from time to time,” he said. A misty-eyed look of regret.

We looked at each other, Ben and I. God forbid we ever became this guy we said. Or maybe our eyes spoke of our fear that we already were that guy, that girl, that city slicker who worked and hadn’t a penny of meaning to their name.

Freedom has a price, they say. What they don’t tell you is that price is impossible to pay.

I slipped another glass of champagne and made awkward socialite comments to another intern trying to reach under my skirt. I talked  about things I won’t remember in an hour, but that tomorrow I’ll tell Sarah was “intellectually  stimulating.” Big words, words I can’t explain, to impress her. And she’ll believe me. Our brains play tricks, knowing the truth would only destroy us. You can’t really blame it though; it’s just as bored as you.

I cut myself a piece of cheese as the awkward intern tries to impress me with his knowledge of staff. Names of people I’ll never try to memorize, an echo of things I should know but won’t. It’s the little sense of pride I have left, this not knowing of the Important.


A sharp pain; I’ve managed to cut myself with a butter knife. The crimson liquid pools out of my veins drop by drop, splattering across the white canvas of the cheese. It’s like a still life of Pollock, todo natural. Embarrassed, I quickly whip it clean. No need to spill my guts today.

I smile and lower my eyes over my glass, that small gesture of femininity that is the only thing my mother left me.

“Life’s a play,” they say. And all of us forever acting.





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