I am looking for a spot that will retain no meaning, no charge. So I drive her to a dentist’s office—not my dentist, not hers—and in the parking lot I tell her it’s over, the whole thing. I tell her our relationship “is untenable.”
We look out the windshield into the office, the rooms all fluorescent, those horrible, reclined chairs, and white, white everywhere.
She tells me this just proves what she’s always thought, what she believes on “a very personal level,” that she’s “a character actor in her own life.”
It’s a phrase she’s been savoring, I realize, and so accurate a description I’m surprised she hasn’t told me sooner, during a lull in one of our many restaurant dinners.
But I would have lied and told her it wasn’t true, and she didn’t want to be unconvinced of it, her revelation.
(And what, asks the protagonist, is so
bad about being a character actor?
Everyone steals from you.)
Some security guy drives past us so I start the car up, relieved to have a reason.
He’s got these scraggly whiskers that hang inches off his cheeks, and as he passes, he gives me a look.
This is his spot, I think. We’re in his spot.
Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2015
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.