Carving out the memories one conversation at a time

He read from his email on his phone, the car wash station is open now

Why are you telling me?

I don't know I thought

You thought I'd run down there and wash your car

She laughed at the thought, staring at her phone and seated on the other side of the couch.

The television ad asked, remember when you thought your love would survive any challenge?

They both laughed out loud at their phones on opposite ends of the couch.

The television ad intoned, real love recovers. Another, real love lives. Reintroduction.

They looked up from their phones, he grabbed his beer and finished it. She looked at her empty glass and pulled out the cherry by the stem, finished that off. The bartender glanced over but they had already looked back at their phones.

When did these broken moments arrive?

I'm not sure but they are really here

Is that what you hope to accomplish here?

I do not remember

What have you been doing?

Ordering shelves and furniture on the internet and building them

In case she comes back

She has to come back

She tried to wave down the bartender but her back was turned. Someone sniffled and the bar went quiet, everyone looking for the culprit. Lucy looked up and a doctor in personal protective equipment had a vial and a q-tip and was administering a dose to a beaming woman sitting in a hospital gown kicking her feet like she could not wait to forget her lover. The video swiped and split and a guy who was presumably her lover was undergoing the same experience, mirroring her reactions.

She looked at him seated next to her, playing a game on his phone, oblivious, his empty beer bottle. She sighed, sad frog face. She looked around the bar and everyone was doing the same thing, on the phone, staring at the game on the television, finding any excuse to avoid talking to the person next to them. Each with a drink in front of them, cell phone next to it.

She pulled up her web browser and searched for reintroduction services.

Why don't we talk

He turned on the car and the stereo came on. She reached out and turned it off. He turned and faced her from the driver's seat.

What

Don't give me that, Quincy, you know what I mean

No, I really don't

The phones

Oh

He looked at the dark glass on the side of the bar in the strip mall.

Well

He looked at her again, you do it too

Well I want to stop

Fuck off

She stared at him in disbelief, claw hands open, urging him to continue.

You are not going to stop

Let's try

He pursed his lips and squinted at her.

Let's make a deal, no phones the next time we go out

You got it

Next weekend, the television at the bar asked, remember when you thought your love was true?

She glanced sideways from her phone at his, he was playing the game again.

She looked up at the television and the commercial panned in on the puzzled look on the man's face, his nose dripping before he wiped it with a tissue, who is she?

That's your wife, Stella.

His eyes teared up, she's beautiful.