Drop #45: A Perfect Contradiction

What’s wrong with you?

Do you really want to know?

I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t.

So you say. Most people want nothing to do with what they ask for.

Well I do, in this case at least. I’m not saying I’ll care, but I do want to know.

Fair enough.

OK, so—

Just a sec. I have to get into proper listening posture. Lawrence rolled his shoulders, cracked his knuckles, carefully placed each elbow in turn on a knee, made a whale’s tail of his palms and cradled his chin into it. Ready, he said.

OK, Bengt started again with irritation so faint it sounded soothing. There’s this girl in my photography class I despise. She’s annoying and idiotic and nothing lovely to look at.

OK. Plenty of those around.

Yes, but this is the thing…

Wait, wait! Lawrence interrupted. I am a bitter misanthrope who thrives only on detail, so I’ll need a whole lot more from you here. Feed them to me, now, and use the biggest spoon.

Details, you mean? About the woman?

That’s right.

Oh. Okay. Um.

Well go on then!

Yes—um—she’s highly excitable, Bengt blurted.


I hate perky, perpetually enthusiastic people, bubbling over about every random triviality.

Me too. It’s abominable. What else?

She brings homemade cookies to every class.


She invents new flavors and gives them cute names like ‘Banana Scrumpolopogus’ and ‘Double Mallow Love Bunny.’

How ghastly!

She says Ralph Lauren with a New Jersey accent: Ralph Loarrin, and she articulates the word ‘atishoo’ every time she sneezes.

Good. Good. More.

I’ve thrice heard her start a conversation with the words: ‘My proctologist insists…’ She says, ‘Hey you, Mr. McGoo,’ every single time she sees me, even if I just got back in the room after getting coffee.

Now we’re getting somewhere!

She still quotes Borat, like every day, all the time, and the delivery is all wrong.


And she’s a poor sight to look at.

Details, son. Feed me.

She’s skinny, but has a plump neck, oversized calves and big, dangling hands. Her walk is short-paced and busy, and her diction long and slow. Otherwise, she’s sweaty and red and just kind of blotchy.

Her skin, you mean?

The whole of her. Overall. She’s just a blotchy creature.

Like left over stir-fried noodles on the kitchen counter?

Pretty much

OK, got it.

So, I’ve scarcely liked a human less, right, but simultaneously, I want to fuck her; and what’s more, I’ve come to realize that I want to fuck her more than any other woman I’ve ever met. I’m plagued with a monstrous lust for her.

I see.

It’s a schizoid manifestation; a co-existence of incompatibilities; a perfect contradiction.

How typically human.

What depresses me is the realization that I have no control over what turns me on, even when it’s highly inappropriate.

To what?

To my sense of value. To my overall aesthetic.

Of course.

So there, now you know. What do you have to say about it?

Nothing. I merely wanted to know what was wrong.

You did warn me about that.

Yes. I did. Lawrence scratched at one of the tablecloth’s yellow waxen scars. I promised neither advice nor empathy.


But let me say something anyway, he added, after a three second pause. He had assumed an oratory posture now, hunched forward with chin raised and arms set free to gesticulate at will. I fear, he said, that I won’t feel any sadness when my parents die; in fact, I suspect I won’t. At times this makes me sad, but it is a selfish sadness that only concerns me, not a comforting sadness that suggests I am human. Other times, I don’t even mind whether I’ll care or not. I probably won’t and I don’t even care about that.


Something else, just for fun: yesterday, I spent a good half hour trying to remember if a certain uncle of mine was still alive. I thought someone had mentioned he was sick, or had passed away or something, but I just couldn’t be sure. In the end, it didn’t really matter but it was strange not to know. I still don’t, actually.

You could call and ask.

My parents? He swatted the air as if at a gnat. Wouldn’t that be one hell of a conversation!

Anyway, I guess that makes me feel a little better about the blotchy girl thing.

If you insist, Lawrence said, as the scent of fried garlic muscled in on the room, but again, that wasn’t my intention.

I know, Lawrence, but rest assured, I won’t hold it against you.

By E.M. Vireo


About EM Vireo
flooding the world with fiction

4 Responses to Drop #45: A Perfect Contradiction

  1. Sir Dingo Higenbottom of the Westerfield Higgenbottoms says:

    My favorite thusfar

  2. EM Vireo says:

    Thanks Sir Higenbottom. I hope the 3rd Earl of Bastrop feels the same way.

  3. Francesco says:

    Where the quotation marks?

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