Is the smoke detector working?
Is the smoke detector working?

She said, breaking into laughter just before finishing.

We were sitting on the floor of a badly lit bathroom, on opposite ends of the room, she was clipping her nails. I could feel the music vibrating the walls, I could see the flickering streetlight through the window, I could listen as the nail clippers cut though.


“What for?” I ask.

“This... all of this” she responded.

“I mean, I don’t understand it... why are you doing this?” I said.

“I Need to get her out of my head. I need to find something to distract me” She said, looking at one of her hands, now with neatly cut nails.


“I know how this ends, man. It’s either this or my ex boyfriend” She concluded.

“Don’t you find it tedious?” I asked.

“No... I find it exciting, rewarding; fun... What I find tedious is thinking about her! Specially when I could be doing something else” she said.


We could hear people approaching the door, and leaving.

“I don’t know, man. Sometimes I think of it as making coffee in the morning...

Sometimes you get it just right, but most of the time, it’s just coffee, and getting the machine going, heating up the milk, and mixing the sugar... It’s tedious, and the reward is so insignificant most of the time, at least for me.


If I’m really longing for something, someone, special then trying to get that special something from anyone isn’t gonna work” I responded, looking at my beer bottle, just to realize it was nearly empty.

“It’s just... a break, you know? Hell, I’m not even certain she’s gonna come, I keep messaging her through Tinder and she’s not convinced” She said.


“It is late” I responded.

“yeah, but she’s horny as fuck” She chuckled.

“So... you wouldn’t consider this as... cheating on your sort of girlfriend?” I asked.


“Not really, she doesn’t know what she know. It suffocates me, and I can’t deal with it. Not unless I stop thinking about her and I find someone to distract me. ” She responded.

“So in the end you always get what you want?” I asked.

“Maybe... I won’t be able to tell until she arrives.” she said.

A moment of silence sparked. It was interrupted by the clippers chomping through the last of the long nails.


“Again, I’m sorry you had to see this” She said to me, as she stood up.

I picked myself up and headed for the door.

“There is no shame in this” I whispered.

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