Sitting in the lounge of his two-bedroom flat, Cecil listened to the fire. The sound of metal expanding and wood turning to coal tinkered in the background. He breathed deeply and wiggled his bum, trying to relax in the brown leather chair. Today had been an important day. His only son Mark had just been married.
A voice pokes Cecil in the back.
“Yes?” He asks, turning around.
“Would you like a glass of gin?”
“That’d be great, thanks.”
As Cecil cupped the glass of gin, he wondered why he’d never imagined Mark might one-day be married. He had only ever thought about life within his own world. For whatever reason, Mark had never truly made it inside. You might think this would cause Cecil some stress, but he liked it that way. It made things simpler. And Cecil was a simple kind of guy. Mark on the other hand, was not so simple. He was a complex and embittered thinker. Mark also liked things this way. He saw no joy in simplifying the world. He liked Woody Allen films and books by Russian authors. It’s what made him, him.
Cecil sat some more, drumming his fingers against the glass of gin, attempting to turn off his brain. This is what Cecil calls ‘meditating’; a process he likes to practice often. After a moment, he closes his eyes, and opens his mouth to speak.
“June, why did we get a divorce?”
“Oh Cecil. You’re as stupid now as you were then.”
June is sitting on the couch with her legs crossed–her own glass of gin resting safely on the armrest.
“Thanks June. You’ve still got it, you know that?”
“Yes, I did.”
Hesitating, slowly, June continued.
“You know exactly why we divorced.”
“I know why we divorced, but I still don’t understand why, you know?”
“No, I don’t know.”
“Forget about it.”
“This is why we divorced.”
Cecil and June had been separated five years before they signed those fateful papers. They told their closest friends they’d decided to wait until Mark had finished school but it was really because they couldn’t face the weight of failure.
“Mark doesn’t know what he’s in for.”
“Oh shut-up Cecil. He’ll be fine. Julie’s a lovely girl. She’s got her head screwed on.”
“What are you trying to say? That as long as Julie’s got her head screwed on they’ll be happy forever?” Cecil let out a forced half breath. “You might be right, seeing as we’re divorced and you’re as nutty as they come.”
“You’re a stupid fucking cunt sometimes Cecil.”
“I remember why we got divorced now.”
“Just drink your gin and keep meditating.”