Are You Still There?

A short talk overheard in the dark…

Conversation between two unseen characters in the dark. Dialogue is printed after the image.

Unseen person from the left: “Are you still there?”

Unseen person from the right: “Yes.”

Unseen person from the left: “But I can’t see you.”

Unseen person from the right: “I’m still here.”

Unseen person from the left: “Did you go away for a little while?”

Unseen person from the right: “No. I’ve been here the whole time.”

Grandparents’ House

I’m in my grandparents’ house, but I’m not a kid — I’m the middle-aged adult I am now. Friends are with me, and I’m showing them around the house. The kitchen with lots of cabinets, the jutting-out peninsula of a dining room with windows on three sides, the two-story living room with fireplace. Tourists are lounging about the yard. Why? It’s a lovely house, but it’s not as if celebrities lived here. Graceland Mansion, it’s definitely not. Yet tourists open the door, and a group of them streams inside, gazing around and clicking photos with their phones. Baffled, I tell them to leave, tell them that this is a private house. Their stares at me seem confused, and the man in front holds up a piece of paper, and he waves it as he says, “But we already bought tickets.”