Chapter

23

KANAYA: Why Are You With Rose

KANAYA: What Is Going On

DIRK: Why would you think something was going on?

DIRK: By which I mean, why would you automatically assume that what’s going on has a sinister overtone.

KANAYA: Did I Say That I Suspected Something Sinister Was Going On

DIRK: Not with your words, no.

DIRK: But in the grand scheme of things, isn’t something always “going on”? Why would you even ask “what is going on” if you didn’t assume that the thing going on was both abnormal and untoward.

KANAYA: Well Now I Definitely Think That Something Sinister Is Going On Because You Are Obviously Trying To Distract Me With Semantics

DIRK: A tactic I’m sure you’re familiar with.

KANAYA: Excuse Me

DIRK: I’m just making an observation. You know your wife pretty well.

KANAYA: ...

DIRK: You know all of her tricks, all her little personality quirks. You’re confident that you know everything about her.

DIRK: But for some reason, you have no idea where she is right now.

KANAYA: What Are You Getting At

DIRK: Nothing. Just making sure we both have a clear view of the situation.

DIRK: Laying out the playing field, as it were.

KANAYA: Okay

KANAYA: I Am Going To Give You Another Chance

KANAYA: Why Dont We Start This Conversation Over Again And You Can Say The Correct Thing This Time

DIRK: Sure.

KANAYA: Hello

KANAYA: Excuse Me But I Would Like To Speak With My Wife Rose

KANAYA: Whose Phone I Do Believe I Am Calling

KANAYA: As Even These Primitive Human Smartphones Have Acceptably Accurate Caller ID Technology

DIRK: Sorry, Rose can’t come to the phone right now.

DIRK: She is otherwise... occupied.

KANAYA: Where Is She

DIRK: She’s at my place.

KANAYA: Im Sorry What

KANAYA: Rose Is Extremely Ill And Should Not Be Leaving The House Alone

KANAYA: What Is She Doing At Your Place

DIRK: Chillaxing, whilst we discuss the inevitable heat death of the universe and the unknowable, solitary nature of human consciousness.

KANAYA: I See

KANAYA: If She Is Capable Of Such Abstract Polemics Why Is It That She Cannot Speak With Me

DIRK: That’s a damned good question.

DIRK: One that will undoubtedly benefit from further exploration over the course of the next abstract polemic I have with her.

Yes, I admit. I’m just fucking with her at this point. But can you blame me, when she’s making it so easy?

Kanaya loves Rose, but sometimes love just isn’t enough. Sometimes what you need is understanding.

KANAYA: You Are Testing My Patience Sorely Dirk

DIRK: Yeah, I’ve gotten pretty good at that.

DIRK: Just ask my fans.

KANAYA: I Am Not Making A Joke

DIRK: Me neither.

DIRK: I don’t really “do” jokes?

KANAYA: Neither Do I

DIRK: I do often make statements which hold varying degrees of irony, acerbic wit, or dry expressions of amusement.

KANAYA: Yes That Roughly Describes Many Of The Remarks I Make As Well

DIRK: I knew you’d understand.

KANAYA: However My Commiseration On This Matter Should Not Be Mistaken For A Gesture Of Friendship Or Camaraderie At This Moment

DIRK: Then it seems we’re at an impasse.

KANAYA: It Wont Be An Impasse For Very Long

KANAYA: Im Coming Over Immediately

KANAYA: To Retrieve My Wife

DIRK: If that’s what you want.

KANAYA: Tell Her That Im On My Way

DIRK: Sure. I’ll get right on that.

I hang up on her.

Rose looks up from where she’s suffering on the floor. The shadows around her are growing. She stares at me with glassy eyes.

ROSE: Is everything okay?

DIRK: Yeah. Just a telemarketer.

DIRK: You know how those carapacians can be when they want to sell you some chess shit.

DIRK: Impossible to get ’em off the phone.

> ==>
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