Postmodern Emotion: The Joke

On our way home from dinner she seemed subtracted. I turned on the radio to lighten the mood, but she was swift in turning down the volume on account of having a headache. She looked everywhere but at me, and the one time we did have eye contact, she shrugged her shoulders and gave a curt smile.

‘What’s wrong?’

‘Is something wrong?’

‘You seem a bit… off.’

‘Oh no, it’s nothing. Just the head ache. It’s real bad.’

At home she removed her shoes, returned them to their pouches, and slid them into the appropriate box. The belt of her robe trailed over the carpet as she walked through the house, offering a light static sound to her movements. She sat on the sofa and switched on the TV.

That was when I began to recount the happenings of our evening. Nothing worthwhile had occurred. We went to Olivio’s, ordered our usuals on the menu, bumped into Jeb and Anika before leaving, stayed on to share a drink with them, then the headache started so we excused ourselves and made our way home. In that time she barely spoke, but I could tell it was the kind of quiet that was full of things to say.

Seinfeld was on, and she watched it with the acute dedication one reserves for something when trying to avoid having to address another matter. I carried on looking at her for a while, but she continued staring at the television. This went on till around half passed twelve, at which point I left the lounge to retire for the evening. As I turned to close the door behind me, I heard Jerry crack a line onscreen. The laugh track sounded. She laughed out loud, too. And I couldn’t help but feel that somehow, the joke was on me.

*Part of the Postmodern Emotion series: A series of passages that pay homage to the curious evolution of contemporary relationships; or arguably, lack thereof. For an easier access to my work while you’re on-the-go, follow @clickstories on instagram. 

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