Our voices dulled like passing trains and we stared at each other.
At some point, screaming as loud and fast as possible depleted the dictionary. As the Oxford English flamed out, we burned the thesaurus too. We sealed a fleeting truce by leaving the room disgusted with each other.
It was every argument I’ve ever had.
We sat across from tables each time, each partner, and beat each other like the words meant themselves. Like there wasn’t another reason, a better reason, we spat poison that had no other possible purpose than to seep and rot.
I was beating my soul necrotic and raging about why I was dying. It was a game I played with whoever was available for the sake of pretending that it would find a solution.
A solution for the frustration of choosing the wrong career. A solution for the anger of being unfulfilled. A solution for the sadness of losing a friend. A solution, a beautifully poetic resolution, to my existence by arguing over books, meals, and work like it was life/death/humanity at stake and not some Sisyphean madness.
I quit pacing and went back to my office, pulled out a piece of paper, and started drawing.
He came back into the room and pointed at the picture I was sketching.
“What is that?”
“Sisyphus.” I kept drawing.
“A king who messed with a god and ended up pushing a boulder uphill for the rest of eternity. Felt appropriate.”
A pause and then a question.
“Are you calling me a god?”
I tossed the pencil on the desk.
“I’m calling us idiots.”