KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 2: Winter 2015
Flash Play: 550 words

Heartbreak Kid

by Jack Cooper

A man and a woman cycle next to each other at a fitness center. He’s a fit 50, dressed like 25. She’s an attractive 40, dressed like she knows who she is.

MAN: You wouldn’t be interested in having an affair with a happily married man, would you?

WOMAN: You have to be kidding.

MAN: My wife has denounced the physical universe and doesn’t want to have sex anymore.

WOMAN: The physical universe. Does that include food? Does your wife eat anything?

MAN: Very little.

WOMAN: Why can’t she have “very little” sex, then?

MAN: Making love is kind of an all-or-nothing proposition for me. A little sex doesn’t make sense, even if she’d agree to that. If she eats at all, it’s like maybe a mushroom. What kind of sex is that?

WOMAN: But you’re still happily married.

MAN: Oh, yeah. We go to movies, take walks, get into long discussions, travel, go out for little dinners.

WOMAN: With little mushrooms.

MAN: Right. The experience is kind of fifth-dimensional.

WOMAN: Fifth. Time’s the fourth, right?

MAN: I think so. Supposedly, most of us are stuck in the third dimension, or maybe the fourth, I don’t know. We’re trapped in the regular day-to-day dualities of right and wrong, life and death...

WOMAN: Man and woman.

MAN: When I’m with her, she treats me more like a soul or spirit than a man per se.

WOMAN: Where is this all coming from? Is she a Buddhist or something?

MAN: No, being one religion or another would be so 3-D. She’s an alchemist.

WOMAN: She makes gold. She’s rich.

MAN: She’d probably say it’s possible with enough energy, but no, right now she’s working with ascended masters to bring peace and love back to our planet.

WOMAN: She’s a hippie.

MAN: A fifth-dimensional hippie. Unfortunately, the free love part has transmogrified to the nonphysical.

WOMAN: I see, like in that Neil Simon movie with Cybill Shepherd and...

MAN: Charles Grodin. “The Heartbreak Kid.” So funny. Getting naked and just sitting by a fire. At this point, I’d even go for that.

WOMAN: Sorry, but I couldn’t be anyone’s third-dimensional release valve. Tell your wife to come down to earth once a week and give you some affection, be a W-O-M-A-N.

MAN: It’s not that she lacks affection.

WOMAN: It’s just in the wrong dimension.

MAN: I guess so. Anyway, you can’t demand that people give you affection. It’s like asking for laughter, or if they like your nose.

WOMAN: Well.

MAN: Your nose? To be honest, no. It’s too small.

WOMAN: Really? No. Really?

MAN: See what I mean? It’s an awkward request, like if I asked you for a kiss.

WOMAN: Yeah, that would be awkward.

MAN: Don’t worry. I was just being hypothetical.

WOMAN: No you weren’t.

MAN: Well, I don’t know what would happen. It’s been too long.

WOMAN: And my nose is too small. Tell you what. Close your eyes.

MAN: Why?

WOMAN: Just close your eyes and pretend you’re naked. Be the Heartbreak Kid for a moment.

MAN: Talk about awkward.

As soon as he closes his eyes, she dismounts, grabs a towel and leaves. As the lights fade and the curtain falls, he cycles on in the dark.


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