Monday, November 24, 2008

procrastinating via writing (other things)

He stopped loving her because of the DVD. Later, long after he had packed his things and loaded them into the back of a friend's car, when he had drifted from couch to couch and landed unceremoniously in a small, modern flat at the edge of the suburban sprawl, when he had bought himself a fish and let it die three times before finally shrugging into the knowledge that it would be a tank for three golden snails that were far more entertaining anyway - eventually, then, he admitted that the DVD was ultimately to blame.

They rarely went to the video store anyway. He preferred to research programmes on the internet. She waited patiently as he spent days downloading entire HBO series. He knew that she was much more interested in immediacy. She was impatient. She bought things on a whim, dresses, art, plants that she let die slowly in the courtyard. She paced at night as if her body was rebelling against even the thought of sleep.

It was a terrible movie, this particular DVD. It was a new release and they would have to watch it overnight and then return it and he knew that he would have to be the one returning it because she would be working late. He felt an immediate rush of irritation.

"What's this?"

"A movie."

"A bad movie."

"No it isn't. I like it."

She had seen it before. The idea of this settled like grit in his lungs. He coughed. It was a bad movie. A terrible movie, and she had seen it and liked it and not even mentioned it to him and now she had borrowed it from a video store and probably expected him to watch it again with her and take it back before six the next evening.

"I got sausages for dinner." he told her. She was busy writing emails to someone or other. She nodded but she hadn't heard him. He could tell.

"Sausages and mash okay?"

Another nod. He wandered into the kitchen and took the sausages out of the fridge and they had not quite thawed but it wouldn't be long now. He chopped garlic and onions and felt his eyes sting and grow moist. He wiped at them with the back of his hand and there were tears, which was appropriate really, because he had begun to fall out of love and there should always be some emotional signal to mark this kind of thing. He wiped his eyes and pushed the chopped onions aside and his eyes remained dry as he pricked the sausages and waited for them to sizzle and brown in the pan.

They ate sausages and watched the DVD and it was awful. Truly. There was nothing to recommend it, and by the end of the movie he had fallen completely and utterly out of love with her.

"It's great isn't it."

He turned to her and noticed that her eyes were slightly red as if she had been rubbing them free of her own tears. It was the kind of movie that was designed to make the audience cry. It was a careful construction of plot and music and extreme closeups. It was about the loss of love, but ultimately, it was about redemption.

"I think it is my favourite movie." She said then.

And he nodded. He continued to nod slowly, sorting though it in his head, glancing about the room and spotting the things that he owned independently of her, tagging them for removal, the books, the CDs, the sandwich press, the one living plant amongst so many spindly corpses, the globe of the world she had given him but that he had never wanted and didn't particularly like. It was meant to light up but the bulb had broken and he had never bothered to replace it.

"Did you like it?"

And he nodded. He was exhausted, and it seemed pointless somehow to explain any of it, at this late stage, when he had just fallen out of love.

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