Two Bucks at Goodwill

“Life’s absurd isn’t it?” Charlie pushed his thick black framed glasses back onto the bridge of his nose before chugging the last of the whiskey.

Greta never drank, she figured liquor wasn’t needed to enhance the crushing silences she felt. She never thought either of them needed liquor or drugs to take them over the threshold to particularly dark places.

“Is life absurd?” Charlie’s lips twitched into the smallest of smiles at Greta’s response.

The ocean below them didn’t seem absurd with the way it moved in and out, crashing onto the rocks.

Neither did the gulls above as they circled for food.

Then again they were only doing what they were meant to do. They were controlled by higher instincts which humans long ago over ruled.

“Is this what we’re going to do?” Charlie’s voice, rough with a whiskey burn, brought Greta’s mind back to the long grass they sat in. For a second she considered the man next to her, slight and lanky in a suit two sizes too big. He’d abandoned the tie when they realized neither knew how to properly tie it. Now it just occasionally writhed in the wind a few feet away. “I do like your dress.” Charlie whispered.

Greta let her fingers slide over the vintage lace. “Two bucks at goodwill. Can you believe that?” She plucked at the oversized straps in some attempt to keep them from slipping off her shoulders again. “I guess for two bucks you can’t have everything you’ve dreamed of.”

The true absurdity of the situation hit Greta like a punch to the chest, stealing her breath away for a second.

“Are you ok?” Charlie moved closer in some attempt to comfort. He laid his hand over hers but pulled it back just as quickly when he noticed the tears on her cheeks. “Are you ready?” His voice was barely audible over the waves below.

Greta’s eyes fell on the glinting metal of the pistol that sat mostly un-noticed between them surrounded by several bottles of whiskey in various states of emptiness.

“This world’s always going to be absurd, whether we’re here or not.” Charlie nodded empathetically but she could see confusion flash in his eyes. “I mean, sitting here, just in it you know …”

Charlie let the grass gently move through his fingers. “Yeah, I mean, I guess.”

“It just seems …” She considered the words carefully. “I mean, what do you say we do something else instead?” The suggestion seemed to put him at ease.

“Like?”

Greta stretched the lace in her skirt between long fingers. “Let’s get married.” He shifted away from her while pulling open another bottle of whiskey. “It’s no more absurd than this.” She waved a hand in the air as if the whole of their lives could be encompassed in a small motion.

Charlie seemed to shrink into himself, quietly staring out into the horizon. For a few moments the sound of crashing waves and screaming gulls drowned out the craziness of the world behind them.

He lifted the bottle to his lips but stopped short. “We don’t have rings and shouldn’t I ask you?”

Greta pointed to her dress, “Did you not hear me earlier? Two bucks at goodwill. I bet there’s a ring or two there. After all, life’s absurd right?”


WordPress Prompt – Insist extra props to the word absurd and this article

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