Sᴜɴʀɪsᴇ Oᴀᴛʜ

There is Beauty.

Stop, and see it. Words are runes of meaning. The picture on the screen becomes a voice, a character that speaks its pithy lines.

With that in mind, please read an unfinished work from this Valentine’s Day.

Old Montreal. Gale Jones gazes at the new sign, recalling with ever greater difficulty how it looked back when it was Génoise et Thé. He enters the café a few minutes early. Tara Robles will be late, fashionably so, but he makes small talk with Simone Dupont, who sits at her usual table, same as over twenty years ago.

SIMONE. You were out there for quite some time.

GALE. Couldn’t wait to speak to me?

SIMONE. Time’s ticking. When’s the architect coming?

GALE. With any luck, soon.

The writer sits, and takes the half-full cup and saucer from the doctor. He sips, and makes a face.

GALE. Have you been here a while?

SIMONE. I have the day off, and my man is out of town. So here I am.

GALE. Fate plays tricks, it seems.

She nods, but her eyes train on the ripples in the cold, bitter coffee. Never was it bitter in those days, the ones they never forgot.

Did she dye her hair? Perhaps it’s best to keep it to myself. Sarah chided me last time I remarked on Charlotte’s appearance. “Keep it to yourself,” she said. Best I listen.

SIMONE. You may ask about it.

GALE. Your hair?

SIMONE. Never my fucking hair, Gale Jones. My marriage.

GALE. Not good?

SIMONE. Too good. Last time I was this nervous, I was a resident at the hospital.

GALE. I was a dreamer, and you were Charlotte.

SIMONE. In those days, and always. People don’t change.

GALE. I re-watched “Chicanery” last week.

SIMONE. Nothing gets past Diana’s disciple.

GALE. Anyway, your husband. Is there something going on?

SIMONE. As always, it’s not about him.

She stands, and covers her cup with the saucer.

SIMONE. You know what I realized? I thrive in bad times. When things go to shit, I live. When everything works out, I suffer.

written by
Tian Min

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