always blood on the patio Jasper Kerkau

Shook out of another dream. “There is blood all over the patio.”

“There is always blood on the patio,” lighting cigarette butt from ashtray.

“This is different and strange.”

“Fuck.”

“Do you even remember last night?” I didn’t, and her tone reveals a lot.

“Of course I do. We had some people over, some laughs.

“Jesus fucking Christ.” She leaves an angry void in the doorway.

“I guess we didn’t have any laughs,” I mumble to myself digging in the grimy half-light for my pants.

Sustenance: Conversations part 1 Jasper Kerkau

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    I pondered the last thing she said about the meal before I began to ponder the concept of eating only for sustenance. It is my best guess that in the near future food consumption will not be a devilish sport for first worlders, rather an evolved act revolved around eating cubes or squares that have a natural balance of proteins, fiber, and essential vitamins. I would share my evolutionary philosophy, but the tension I feel coming from her does not invite such an unsolicited departure in conversation.

    “Your point is not lost on me,” she begins half-chewing, pointing with her fork as she scrambles to get to the heart of things. “I just do not feel that you are really thinking things through. You seem to think you have everything figured out.”

    “I don’t think we should have dessert.”

    “That is so random and such bullshit.” She takes her hands off the table and gazes at me with a scornful expression. I am still gestating on how looking at eating as a utilitarian practice will alleviate many of society’s ills.

    “I apologize, perhaps it is salmon. I am not sure about how it was prepared.”

    “Fuck the salmon.” She is seething. “I am thinking about dessert.”

    “I thought we were talking about something else entirely.” My glibness is a distraction.

She picks up her fork and begins picking at her shrimp alfredo. “You are impossible.” She was right, at least I can see how she came to this conclusion. Perhaps difficult would be a more apt description. Though my distraction is not without cause, there is certainly a methodology to the slow demise of our discussion.

    “Worse than before?”

    “No, nothing is worse than before.” She purses her lips, stares into the past before reclaiming a moment to vent her frustration at the dodgy nature of our conversation.  “There are things you can make right, and there are some things that stay with you forever.” Picking up a class of chardonnay, “there is no absolution for you—never, but you know that don’t you?”

    “I am the architect of the past, of course I know that.”

    “I feel sorry for you. I am sorry the salmon is not up to your standards, and I am sorry that I will not be having any dessert.”

Jasper Kerkau is co-creator, editor, and writer for Sudden Denouement Literary Collective (suddendenouement.com) as well as publisher. He likes to write about his distaste for randomness and dread of small talk.