KISSING IN OBLIVION
They go to the play that she suggests. They are fighting again but it's not serious. "There will always be tension between two living people. My last boyfriend claimed to be alive but I knew better. What a dud. We never fought. We have to fight if we want to stay alive," she tells her mom on her trinket-coated cellphone, while her boyfriend drives their little blue Honda through curtains of rain and great splashes of traffic. He keeps his eyes on the road and his white knuckles on the steering wheel.
He says nothing.
They arrive at the theater just in time. "People are almost late all the time and that is nothing to fight about. There is no use in me getting ticked off with you for driving like a grandmother on a Sunday afternoon."
He stops dead in his tracks and stares at her. The volunteer who has just sold them their tickets stands with his mouth open, searching for the proper words to hurry them in.
"We are fighting. It is natural for me to get a little underhanded," she explains.
He doesn't move.
The volunteer is still composing his thoughts with his mouth wide open.
"I'm sorry that was petty," she says and then gives him a peck on the cheek. "I haven't forgiven you for what you said earlier but I am truly sorry for bitching about being late."
They walk past the volunteer who lets out a sigh of relief through his still open mouth.
They scootch past half a dozen people to get to the two remaining spots in the theater of one hundred uncomfortable wooden seats.
After the lights go down, a bright spotlight reveals two people on stage kissing. There is silence. Those who have no idea what's to follow adjust uncomfortably in their uncomfortable seats fearing the worst.
For one hour the two people on stage kiss while different characters come and go commenting on their display of public affection. Not much else happens.
"It's experimental but nothing blows up. You've got to risk blowing something up if it's a real experiment," she says to him in a loud voice immediately after the actors have taken a bow.
He remains silent.
That evening while they fuck he will grunt out all of his grievances in articulate stutters. He will have his say and then seal it with a gentle kiss.