She’d worn her hair in a bun for most of the courtship. She liked neck scarves, pretty things, pink, mauve, this sort of thing. She walked with a slight limp. The details accumulated as the morning dragged on.

“Is your tooth fixed?”

“Think it’s dead.”

“Was at Shopper’s the other day. They had these things.”

“Yeah? How much?”

“What? I can’t remember.”

Even if help came, would I want it? Sometimes you have to make a decision before the thirty second clock winds down, and the buzzer goes off and your hands fall flat on the desk.

“Is she tall, the girl?”

“Hm. Probably not that tall.”

“She could be.”

“She could.”

“Make her blonde.”

“That’s a given.”

“But you don’t like blondes.”

“That’s quite true.”

They had complicated my existence, both the real and false ones, though in retrospect, and with the wisdom of experience, most filled the latter category, which is not to suggest they were false people, though some were, but that they adopted false hair colour, perhaps with the mistaken belief that they would have more fun.

“I’d like to ask them if they do.”

“If they do what?”

“If they do have more fun.”

Life is a strange, minority phenomenon in a universe roiling with phenomena, both classical and quantum. Why does it exist at all? Is the universe really in the business of creating busy, chattering ephemera, tiny novelties, cognizant toys? Try as I might, I cannot come to any satisfactory conclusions.

“Coffee’s good this morning.”

“Yeah. Superb.”

Salvatore Difalco

Salvatore Difalco is the author of five books of fiction, including "The Mountie At Niagara Falls" (Anvil Press) a collection of microfiction.