Author: B.W. Carter
She knew he’d really been thinking about this one. They’d made their way across campus to the shop and he was still on the conversation started back in the classroom. She let him keep talking. And he did, as they wended through the crowd to a table by the window; he let her carry the drinks, too caught up in what she would not tell him to his face was pure nonsense.
Isn’t that what you did — or did not do — when you liked someone?
Apparently. So, she clenched her jaws and listened.
It’s what she’d wanted, after all.
“What if,” he said (and here we go) as they took their seats, then stopped. Blew hard on his drink and started again. “What if,” he said, slowly, “like, what if an idea of an idea is, like, you know, more real than the idea itself? I mean, what if being is in itself an idea born of, like, the idea of being? Know what I mean? Yeah? Like, just take walking here, right? Made me think. What if the idea of walking interprets itself, like, as an idea called running? Does the idea of walking no longer mean walking or does it now mean running? Know what I mean?”
(No. No, I do not.)
“Like, you know, are ideas more substantive than those things born of ideas? Or is the idea only ever an idea until it is, like, a thing, at which point the idea never existed, you know, only the thing? Know what I mean?” He grinned, but his thick fair eyebrows seemed clenched in confusion. Did he know what he meant?
(No. No, you do not.)
But he was really thinking, bless his heart. Second thoughts and on to third, really mulling over his ideas before trying to articulate. And he was so gorgeous, and she was lucky. Lucky, she knew, to be here now. The very idea of a jock like him (rugby captain and philosophy major both!) talking to her had not even occurred as a possibility before today. Much less a reality, so remote was the idea.
(As ridiculous as this “conversation.”)
She owed it to him, right? To think, to really think, about the utter garbage he was so passionately spouting.
And she really tried. She did. He was gorgeous, after all. She sipped her latte and she considered. To be considerate. Though she began to wonder as she was doing so what she even thought, anyway, about this idea of thinking about the idea of thinking itself.
Or the quintessential being of an idea as itself or something else. The thought, or the idea of the thought, rather — which came first? Which mattered most? Was there an egg involved? Did she even care?
(Is he really that hot?)
Finally, she made her decision. Exhausted despite all the caffeine, and late for dinner shift at the diner, she shrugged, stood, and answered him at last as she turned to leave:
“You know, I really, like, haven’t the faintest idea. Know what I mean? But I think, you know, I can, like, honestly say that you and me? As an item? Is, like, no longer on my list of things to think about.”
And she was gone.
She’d always thought rugby sucked, anyway.