Fiction 10: This Much is True


This is part of a novel I’m writing. If you’ve just walked in to the story, it will not make any sense. The previous “chapters” are in my archives and are numbered  Fiction 1-9. Go back and start at No. 1. They might make you smile.

Circe gave Marek a little of the old hairy eyeball and asked:

So how did you call her when you didn’t have her number? Its not like there aren’t a whole shed load of Smiths in the phonebook. Listen to me, that’s old-school!”

I know she had a class or two with Bresznan and figured he might have her number, so I called him. I told him I found her student I.D. on the street when I left the party and wanted to call her ‘cos I thought she was cute. He gave me her number and wished me luck and …”

So you got together.”

We went out and I dunno, we were together from that moment on. Until we weren’t.”

What happened?”

I dunno. She was there, and then she wasn’t.”

You had a fight. What did you fight about?”

God! I don’t remember…”

But he did. Smitty was different. She brought him into her worlds he’d never seen before; could tell him the stories of the constellations they’d look at down by the lake on a summer night. He could tell her how a star is born, but she knew how it came to be there in that particular corner of the sky. With Smitty, he saw art for the first time, really saw it, except for the colors. Marek’s vision put him into a world of sepia tones, but he could appreciate the lines and shapes. They argued about Mondriaan. They both liked folk music and opera. She liked the Eurythmics and he didn’t and they argued about that. They were foodies before anyone came up with the word. They’d spend Sunday mornings reading serious newspapers, drink champagne and argue about politics then cook up a gourmet meal and make love. They argued about a lot of things, and they spent a lot of time making up…That last time, he didn’t or didn’t want to remember what they argued about.”

Hey Marek! You’re miles away, pal.”

Yeah. Sorry.”

Well, what happened?

I dunno. She was there, and then she wasn’t.”

Smitty disappeared? Into thin air? Just like that?”

No. But she made it clear she didn’t want me in her life anymore. So I stayed away.”

“What’d you do?

What do you mean, what did I do? I stayed away.”

I mean, what did you do to make her not want you in her life anymore?”

She said…. nevermind. I don’t want to talk about this anymore.”

Circe got interested in something happening in the middle distance then she asked Marek:

When is a door not a door?”


You heard me. It’s a riddle. I’m trying to lighten things up…”

Gotcha…but I have no idea…”

When it’s ajar! Get it? When it’s a JAR!”

Circe, you’re a nutjob.”

Marek spent the rest of the day straightening up the wreckage from the break-in, and listening to Circe’s incessant riddles. She would not shut up. He started looking forward to her speedy return to Mrs. Morello.

By dinner time he’d had enough and was looking for an excuse to put some space between him and that pain-in-the-ass plant.

Got nothing in the fridge to eat. I’m going out for food.”

Good! Bring beer!”

Marek ordered dim-sum at the bar and enjoyed the quiet. He’d made it to Wing’s just before the evening rush started and he knew this oasis of calm would not last. It was soon ruined by the ringtone version of Spandau Ballet’s “True”. “What a lame ringtone,” he thought, and then he realized it was coming from his phone.

* image from Google


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