When the laundry finished, there was an awkward moment of energetic silence between them. It was as they both wanted to run to the nearest thing to do together after having suffered through so many failed attempts at friendship. But they both couldn’t even muster up the courage to do so.
Routine had them both sort of locked in this cycle of video games, studying, coffee, laundry, and work. Being hermit crabs, no longer truly caring about direct human interactions as much. Slowly adapting to a technologically advanced world where the definition of what is meaningful human interaction is ever changing. Olivia felt there was no longer a need for physically being in the moment with someone, but rather intellectually being there. She often thought of trying to answer the question: why is the internet so connected, yet so disconnected in ways? Then coming to the realization the internet poses a challenge in a way. Truthfully, there is nothing but you and an image. The image could be accurate or inaccurate, intentional or unintentional, and rooted in truth or deception. One thing was for sure, she could read between the lines, and so could Jackie. They both has a thirst to venture into the unseen, read the unread, and maintain a kind of realism the world no longer seemed to relate to. Separated by buildings and walls, sidewalks and miles, they still both managed to exist on the same wavelength.
Eventually it was Sunday evening again and of course they both arrived within minutes of each other. This time Olivia made sure she didn’t drop her underwear. She smiled.
“How’s it going Jackie?” Olivia asks.
“Okay. You know. The lady next door is blasting her Christian rock music super loud all the time and apparently I am crazy. Ha ha. Perhaps, they think my video games are real guns though. I fooled someone before and ended up with cops at the door.”She laughs nervously.
“Sounds like you need to invest in a headset, girl.”
“I know, right? I didn’t realize I was such a good actress at playing crazy I became this celebrity to the gossiping grapevine community.” Jackie said.
“Sounds like you need to move. Ha ha. You are a good actress Jackie. Are you sure though? Is it all acting?”
“You know. I don’t know. What is really sanity? Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results but what if you do the same thing over and over and expect the same results?” She laughs.
“Jackie, we ask too many silly questions sometimes and perhaps overthink.” Olivia chuckles as well.
“But it’s fun sometimes! And when you find someone else who does it too it can be extremely interesting.”
“True. Jackie you always have a good defense, ha ha. I guess we both do.”
“You have to have a good defense nowadays. Some people are like hawks on roadkill when it comes to interactions with people like us. We are often misunderstood and don’t want to waste our time on trying to redeem ourselves to judgmental people.”
“Okay, okay. I haven’t had my coffee yet for this. Do you want to get coffee after this? I mean we both have to stop home, but afterwards. Unless you’re doing something…”
“Doing something? I guess I could break my isolated routine for a day. Ha ha. We
probably both need to.” Jackie says with a silly grin.
“Once again, a valid point my dear. As always.”
They exchange numbers finally. They both subtlety hurry off with secretive giddiness like schoolchildren, ready to play at the park for the first time. In opposite apartments they did the same mirrored behaviors. Both rushing in a highly functioning manner. Both looking cleaned up in a short amount of time, as if they practiced for so long, for the moment someday they might find a real friend or lover. Someone worth being around. Someone else whose eyes have not yet lost their color and light.