Daily Dialogue: I’m an Albatross

Starting today, I bump myself up to 40 minutes a day writing two women talking to each other. Nothing planned and no goal, though the title just came to me. Looks like I have to live up to it.

Charlie
How can I live?

Karen
One foot in front of the other, like the song goes.

Charlie
I lost my job, Karen. My job. I loved my job. I spent thousands of dollars and thousands of days preparing to get it and now, it’s gone.

Karen
The world’s a changing place, love.

Charlie
Don’t start the bumper sticker speak, please.

Karen
What do you want me to do, then?

Charlie
I have half a bottle of Jack. You can help me finish it or watch me slowly give myself alcohol poisoning, but this bottle is gonna be gone by morning.

Karen
Drinking’s not the answer to anything.

Charlie
Don’t you think I know that? I’m not looking for any answers at the bottom of the glass. I’m looking to get drunk to dull the fucking pain and when my hangover goes away tomorrow, I’m gonna go job-hunting.

Karen
So you’re not turning into an alcoholic?

Charlie
No, dummy. I’m mourning.

Karen
In that case, I’ll get some ice.

Charlie
The dispenser’s broken so you’ll have to dig in the freezer. Just dump the ice in a bowl so we don’t have to keep getting up.

Karen
I don’t think half a bottle is gonna require us to get up a lot.

Charlie
You haven’t seen the bottle.

Karen
All I could find is the pink bowl. Smells like– What the fuck?

Charlie
I know, right?

Karen
It’s as big as your head!

Charlie
Yeah!

Karen
Shouldn’t it be illegal to sell that much alcohol at once?

Charlie
They sell kegs.

Karen
Yeah, but the only people who buy them deserve whatever death comes their way.

Charlie
Ah, Darwinism. Did you get glasses?

Karen
I thought you did.

Charlie
I’ve been here.

Karen
Yeah, but I thought that grabbed them alre– I’m getting, I’m getting…

Charlie
I’d say that we could share the bottle, but you have that weird thing of not drinking or eating with the same thing as someone else. I don’t need you throwing up in my Jack and giving me a reason to cry or beat you.

Karen
Oh, please stop. I can already taste the germs.

Charlie
Alcohol’s a natural disinfectant, y’know. Whatever lurks in my spit is bound to be dead by the time you–

Karen
Hey, how about that? Here’s your glass. And, gee, here’s mine. Load us up.

Charlie
Heh. Right-right.

Karen
What did you do for New Year’s?

Charlie
I thought about sitting on my roof to see what’s been running across it, but I got lazy. You’re probably right, it’s squirrels.

Karen
Well, it can’t be dogs.

Charlie
You haven’t heard them up there! It’s like something with big feet and tiny nails.

Karen
We’re too far from Mexico for it to be el chupacabra…

Charlie
BAA-AA-AA-AA-AA.

Karen
But I doubt that’s all you did.

Charlie
Yeah, I did other stuff, but it was by myself.

Karen
I know, you didn’t call or return any of mine. Was it sex?

Charlie
No, I just got really wrapped up in a book.

Karen
Oh. I had sex.

Charlie
That’s nice.

Karen
It was. What book?

Charlie
It was a series of books, but it was one title.

Karen
How many books?

Charlie
Five.

Karen
You read five books in one day? Did this day take place on Saturn?

Charlie
Comic books. Er, graphic novels.

Karen
Oh. Oh! That makes a lot more sense. A lot more.

Charlie
I’ve been wanting to read them for a few months but couldn’t get into the right headspace. You know how that goes, not being able to focus on something until your mind-thoughts agree.

Karen
That’s why I haven’t read “War and Peace” yet. It was free and is right there and I don’t mind reading 2,000 pages of something, but my… mind-thoughts don’t wanna bother.

Charlie
I didn’t have to get through 2,000 pages, thank Eisner.

Karen
What title did you read?

Charlie
Alan Moore’s “Promethea.”

Karen
Isn’t he the comic writer with the big hair and beard?

Charlie
Yeah.

Karen
And a… practicing magician?

Charlie
Yup.

Karen
What’s “Promethea” about?

Charlie
The religion of magic, in so many panels.

Karen
Religion? Aren’t you a heathen?

Charlie
And proud. But I don’t have an aversion to religious things as long as they’re not didactic.

Karen
Oh. I guess that explains why I see that very Indian book on your shelf.

Charlie
What, “Habibi?” That was written in Oregon by a guy named Craig Thompson.

Karen
None of what you told me sounds remotely Indian.

Charlie
“Habibi” is great because the religious aspects are more like stories instead of gospel. And religion in “Promethea” is more like a very beautifully drawn and written Wikipedia entry.

Karen
That doesn’t sound so bad.

Charlie
I mean, it’s a very detailed entry, but I didn’t feel it was preachy. Unlike some other things.

Karen
Hey, that wasn’t my fault. I got free tickets and you said ok.

Charlie
If I could turn back time…

Karen
Hey, I’m not nearly drunk enough for Cher. However, methinks YOU.

Charlie
Me?

Karen
Are drunk enough to tell me about the albatross circling the room next to the elephant.

Charlie
Huh?

Karen
Why did you lose your job?

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