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February 12, 2023

B side

Juliet Gelfman-Randazzo

(remixed from Soap Opera, originally published in Passages North)


We were in a cut scene. Do you know what happens when you’re in a cut scene? You get all oily. It is not aesthetically pleasing. The narrative is dead. Nothing is urgent, you can send all the texts you want, you can buy stuff online, you can eat lots of snacks.

We were being really annoying. We could only say our same lines, over and over. Our make-up was really caked on and we rubbed at it and pimples popped like puberty.

Someone fell into the cut scene, through a window. We discussed it for a while in silence and decided they could have some of our snacks. We passed them some oil from a plastic bottle. They rubbed it on seriously, funereally. They asked to use the bathroom.

There’s no soap in there, we didn’t warn them. The soap was all back in the opera.

We felt ghosted. It didn’t feel great. Mostly we felt bored. The person came out of the bathroom. No soap, they said. Welcome, we said back. I don’t feel anything, they said. Welcome, we responded.

What do you think they’re doing back there, right now? the new person asked. We stared at them, blankly, nakedly, silently. It wasn’t that we hated each other. It was just at that moment our dialogue had run out.