Books: An Abridged Existence (excerpt)

Shortly after the visitation of Mortimer, the nurse returns. Fortunately, all their forms are completed. The nurse collects those and returns their clothes, which they promptly put on, taking turns in the bathroom. Then they are escorted to the lobby, and are told they can go home.

“I feel a connection with you. I feel as though our near death experience has brought us closer together,” Jen says.

“Yeah, me too. First we were complete strangers, and now we’re mere acquaintances,” is Sid’s reply.

“It’s kinda nice that we got to meet each other, but I missed that conference I was supposed to go to so I could learn the new procedures at work. Speaking of which, just for the sake of curiosity, why were you two at the airport?” Jen speaks.

“I was going to go to a convention. It would have been nice to be there, see what some of my old friends are up to, but oh well. I’m sure I’ll be able to make the convention next year,” Carl answers, with a sigh. “Where were you going Sid?” Carl then asks.

“Oh, I was just at the airport, for no particular reason. Though I might eat some peanuts, have a near death experience, get some free drugs, visit family. You know, just travel,” Sid somewhat jokingly says, in a serious tone. Another small awkward silence follows.

“Perhaps we should exchange contact info. You know, in case we need to get in touch with each other for some bizarre reason,” Carl seriously suggests.

“Well, I don’t have any paper, but I have this card the lawyer gave us, we could write our info on each other’s cards,” Jen adds.

“And I have some pens I stole from the nurse,” Sid says, promptly pulling about 8 pens from his pocket. He hands each of them a pen, and puts the remainder back into his pocket. They write down and exchange telephone numbers, and email addresses. Although since Sid does not have an email address, he just makes one up.

They then say goodbye to each other, and go their separate ways. Sid hops onto a bus to go back to his apartment. Jen goes to work to explain to the her employers where she has been for the past few days. Carl returns to his laboratory in the outskirts of the city.