THE FEARS OF TWO MEN
By: Rodolfo Perez
Two men sit across from each other in an empty café, there are two cups of coffee between them, and one of them is on the phone. As the first one finishes his conversation on the phone, the other takes periodic sips from his cup.
Man 1: Yeah, I love you too mama. Yes, I’ll tell him, okay, I love you too, okay mama, bye now. Yes, bye.
Man 1 hangs up phone
Man 1: Mothers, can’t live with them. Could never live without them.
Man 2: (chuckles) I guess so.
A short silence breaks before them
Man 2: Why are we doing this?
Man 1: What?
Man 2: This. Talking. Here. In this shitty little coffee shop, about our stupid little problems that will go away with a night’s slumber.
Man 1: Well that’s not true.
Man 2: What? Our stupid little problems?
Man 1: No, about them all going away with a night’s slumber. They never go away, they just kind of…take a coffee break.
Man 2: They have to go away sometime.
Man 1: No, see that’s the thing. Problems aren’t a thing with thoughts and emotions. They don’t give a shit about you, your ambitions, your goals or even your goddamn financial life. They’re just there, because they just are, and they’re never going to go away.
Man 2: ….
Man 1: No need to get depressed over this, I mean, the reality has always been there you-
Man 2: No, it’s not that it’s just, I had this exam today for BioChem. I must’ve forgotten.
Man 1: Can you make it up?
Man 2: Probably not.
Man 1: Well, then what are you going to do?
Man 2: I don’t know. I guess, talk to my professor and hope for the best.
Man 1: Hope for the best?
Man 2: Yeah, you know hope (Takes sip of coffee) it’s this thing where you believe in something so much in the idea that that belief may turn out to be reality.
Man 1: Well that’s one way to put it.
Man 2: How would you put it then?
Man 1: I don’t know I don’t really believe in it.
Man 2: How can you not believe in hope?
Man 1: I don’t know, I just don’t.
Man 2: Well, in all due respect that’s kind of stupid.
Waitress comes in and puts two French bagels between them
Man 2: Excuse me, we didn’t order these.
Waitress: Well, they’re on your table, so they’re yours.
Waitress walks away
Man 1: What the hell was that?
Man 2: I don’t know, do you know her?
Man 1: No.
Man 2 reaches for one
Man 1: No, don’t eat those! Let’s get out of here.
Man 2: Why are you so scared to eat?
Man 1: They can be rotten or poisoned or something.
Man 2: But they can also be the best bagels you’ve ever had.
Man 1: Fine (Takes bagel) here’s to failure.
Man 2: Here’s to death.
They touch bagels and take a bite.