Undertone: A Dialogue

Published by From The Asylum

She: What would you say if I died?

He: I’d say, ‘my, what a strange day for her to die.’

He blinked.

She blinked.

She: Why would you say that?

He: Well, I always figured you’d die on a Tuesday.

She frowned.

He was holding a novel, but watching ‘When Animals Attack’ with the mute button on.

He: What’s wrong?

She: Nothing.

There was a pause.

On the television, a bear bit a woman’s arm clean off.

He: You didn’t like my answer.

She: No that’s not it. I don’t know.

He: Did you think that you’d die on a Friday instead?

She: Friday? Why Friday?

He: I don’t know. That way you’d get to live out the week

She coughed.

He: It’s always nice to feel fulfilled at the end. Of something.

She: But what about Saturday and Sunday? Shouldn’t I die on a Sunday if I wanted to live out the week? Feel fulfilled at the very end?

He: Well.I guess I’m going by the work week.

There was a pause.

On the television, a dog sprang onto an elderly man’s back.

She: Why?

He: Why what?

She: Why are you going by the work week?

He: Well.a work week is Monday to Friday.

She: I know what it is; I’m asking why you are going by it. I mean, it’s not like I’m going to go to work the week before I’m going to die.

She crossed her arms.

He: Well.you would if you didn’t know you were going to die.

She uncrossed her arms.

She: I suppose that’s true.

He: Of course it’s true.

She: That’s depressing.

There was a pause.

No one was attacked; it was a commercial break.

She: Let’s have sex.

He: I don’t really feel like it.

She: Why not?! You did a few minutes ago.

He: Yes, but now I’m thinking about work.

She sat back in the pillows.

She: Work.

He: Yes. And you dying. But work, mostly.

She: Interesting train of thought.

He: I agree.

They both nodded.

The television flickered.

She: What would you say at my funeral?

He: To whom, the guests?

She: No, during my eulogy.

He: Well, that’s addressed to the guests.

She: Yes, I guess in a formal way. I suppose so. I’m sorry.

He: That’s alright. Anyway, what would I say to the guests for your eulogy.?

She: Take your time. It’s an important sentiment.

He: No, I’ve got it. I’d say ”.and he sailed off through night and day and in and out of weeks and almost over a year to where the wild things are.’ Thank you all for coming.’

She: That’s…lovely.

He: Yes. I know. Thank you.

On the television was an advertisement for lemon pine sol.

She: How does an excerpt from a children’s book serve as a proper eulogy?

He: Well, you know “Where the Wild Things Are” communicates on so many levels.

She: I guess I was just hoping for something a little more personal.

He: No, you just can’t get more personal than that. What book better captures life’s journey? Children’s literature truly touches the soul.

On the television a jellyfish attached itself to a child.

She: What will you say when you die? Your last words, like on your death bed.

He: On a Tuesday?

She: Does that matter?

He: Ha! Of course it matters! My words would change according to the day.

She: Okay, well yes on a Tuesday then. What would you say?

He: Well, I think I’d say ‘See you all tomorrow’

She: But you wouldn’t be around tomorrow.

He: It’s nice to get a rise out of people, scare them a bit. Even on a Tuesday.

She: Even at the end you mean.

He: No, I mean even on a Tuesday. Terribly boring day.

She: Oh. Yes, okay.

She pressed her hand into the bedspread and watched the impression fade.

He: Why, what will you say when you die?

She: I think I’m going to say ‘Sweep me up’. Those were Kierkegaard’s last words.

He: Oh yes? Why would you want to steal someone else’s last words?

She: I can’t think of anything more appropriate. Besides he was much smarter than I am and more famous.

He: You aren’t famous at all.

She: Exactly. Plus I doubt I’d be as poetic as all that while I die. I’d probably wind up embarrassing myself with confessions. Better off memorizing someone else’s last words.

He: Very interesting point. You probably wouldn’t say anything particularly memorable, I mean not memorable enough to go into books and stuff.

She: Right. It’s better to be prepared. And I just figure that chances are, someone else has already said what I want to say anyway, but better than I can say it. I might as well use theirs.

He: Probably.

They both stared at the screen. She brushed his hand.

She: .are you ready for sex now?

He: Oh! Yes, sure.

She: I’m sorry, did I startle you?

He: Yes. No. Not at all. I mean, well I was just wondering why they put Sunday at the beginning of the week on calendars.

She: As part of the work week?

He: No, no, just at the beginning. It’s like, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and so on. Saturday is at the very end, separate from Sunday.

She: It’s definetly worth deliberaiting. You could write them a letter.

He: Who?

She: I don’t know.

She blinked.

He blinked.

She: I like Sundays.

He: Yes, much better day than Tuesdays.

She: Of course.

He: Dreadful day, Tuesday.

She: Oh, yes.

On the television a tiger waited patiently, as a man slowly slipped from a tree.

About gabriellesierra

Gabrielle Sierra is an editor and freelance music and arts writer living in Brooklyn, NY.
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