A man sits at a desk, typing into a terminal. He refers intermittently to a document that rests peacefully on the desk. This man is overweight, glasses, bad posture, dumb t-shirt, khaki jeans. Bad haircut, bloodshot eyes, some chocolate from a York Peppermint Patty smeared on his forearm.
A 2nd dude enters and approaches the desk. This guy wears cool clothes, is physically fit, and speaks in the lazy cadences of California’s groovy elite. He can perform tricks on his skateboard, is a talented carpenter, and reads widely, particularly in ecology, political theory, and philosophy. Altogether a more desirable guy that the desk-bound fellow, apart from the fact that he knows he’s cool, and he’s a shittier conversationalist. Not as funny. Better at math, lovemaking, sports, honesty, and friendship.
2ND DUDE: Do you know who I am? [ein winkle-paus] I’m the guy who’s going to sleep with your girlfriend.
DESK-GUY: [Looks up, filled with hate. A long, withering pause. Is it even worth responding?] Is that right? [ein winkle-paus] That’s fine. You seem nice. Be gentle.
2ND DUDE: You’re a fucking idiot. I’ve never seen someone as pathetic as you.
DG: I’m writing a grant for an NGO to feed victims right now. Would you mind walking as quickly and quietly as is possible, in any direction leading you away from here, right now-ish?
2D: I’m so going to pound your fucking face into a billion dead skin cells. I hate you. I’m having sex with your girlfriend right now, Lost-Highway-style.
DG: I saw that movie. That’s the best scene, the dwarf on the cell phone.
2D: Shut the fuck up. [Takes out a gun] I said shut the fuck up! And — and — [is shaking uncontrollably] and give me your money– [the gun goes off. A young person takes a “flash fiction writing seminar”. An old person buys baby carrots for later.]