Dusty Old Love

“That’s my dissertation, more or less.”

“I know. You know, some time back, I ordered it and read it. I was…”

“I know. It’s not all that great. I don’t know if I was ever meant to be a writer.”

“I don’t know, either. I wish you’d stayed around to find out, though.”

“I think the whole purpose of my life was to wrangle with the question of my sexuality. Pretty fucking stupid purpose if you ask me. It looks like your blog prompt wants you to take a Dickensian direction, right? Not my direction, you know, sex and death.”

“Remember when that professor of yours asked you why all your stories were about sex and death and you answered, ‘What else is there?’ Really, he was right but so were you. That’s one of those paradoxes.”

“Interesting paradox, but how useful is it?”

“Not very. I wonder now if a paradox is anything other than interesting — and a really effective dead end sign.”

“What are you going to do with that prompt? It’s actually quite interesting…”

“Oh, I thought I’d seek refuge in the shop. The shopkeeper — your shopkeeper — would come out, blue trousers and all — and say, ‘I’ve been waiting for you. Peter left you this’.”

“What did I leave you?”

“That’s the part I haven’t figured out yet. You could leave me your dissertation — the story that begins in almost this way but not quite, or you could leave me a wooden chest holding your still beating still bleeding heart or you could leave your flannel shirt. I’m not sure.”

“Or my, you know, like in the dream you had?”

“That’s a definite possibility. Seems like that was quite troublesome for you, at least during your living years.”

“Intriguing idea, though. What WOULD I leave you?”