Once in a Lifetime by Al McDermid

Perhaps because we were not as deep into the impossible as we had thought, we found no dragons and so slipped back into our own reality. The Police had gone, but the car was still there.

I say, “This is not my beautiful car. You are not my beautiful wife.”

You say, “This car was never that beautiful. It was also never a Chevy, but never mind that. If I’m not your beautiful wife, which wife am I?”

I say, “Don’t know. You could be my beautiful ex-wife but for two points.” But I didn’t go on. I look at the car instead, wonder why it is not a Chevy. Was it ever a Chevy? I couldn’t recall.

You say, “And those are?”

Looking up, I say, “Are what? Please make sense, please?”

You say, “What are the two points that demonstrate that I cannot be your beautiful ex-wife?”

I say, “I give up. What are they?”

You say, “The two reasons I cannot be your beautiful ex-wife is that we’ve never met, and, having never met, we could not have married.”

I say, “Right. Stupid that. We would have made great exes. We could have had an affair or something. Do you know why this car isn’t a Chevy?”

You say, “We’ve driven that car as far as we could, and since we’re now out West, we should abandon it.”

I say, “Since it was never a Chevy, I guess we should.”


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Filed under Al McDermid

7 responses to “Once in a Lifetime by Al McDermid

  1. Wonderfully twisty and beneath the fun dialogue, deeper movement into the characters. Nice.

  2. I love stories like this. Very intelligent.

  3. Same as it ever was.

    And very apropos that this is mostly a dialogue piece (talking heads, get it?).

    Witty and smart, Al. And now I can’t get the blasted song out of my head. Peace…

  4. I thought this was utterly brilliant. Thanks for sharing it!

  5. Catherine Davis

    I want to say: stop making sense! (I sense you’ve covered that.) “Please make sense, please” does happen to be my favorite line at this moment. Very Ionesco, I’m thinking. (“The Chairs” ? oh, it’s been forever. Love that playwright, anyway.) Also: “we were not so deep into the impossible as we had thought” – delicious to linger over.Of course, it has a touch of “Last Year in Marienbad” without the heaviness. I thought of that as I realized the loop it creates, how I want to go straight back to the beginning and start reading again, as soon as I finish – not to mention the ‘never met.’ I would hope this would only be once in a lifetime, for their sakes, because otherwise, oh my. You know?

    A mind-bender. Ooh, ooh… love it.

  6. This story made me work, it is thought-full! Nice work, Al. Again and again.

  7. Pingback: Week #35 – Loose connections | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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