‘Well,’ they start. ‘Now this was all refreshing, but what are we doing here, Hal? Huh? What are we doing here?’
‘I don’t know.’ You shrug. ‘What are you doing here?’
‘I’m asking you – what are we doing here?’
‘I don’t know,’ you say, still shrugging. ‘I don’t know. Ask them.’ You look at me. I show you. Whether you see or not is hard to tell. We all continue.
‘We don’t know what we’re doing here either,’ I hear them say. You look back towards them.
‘You don’t know what we’re doing here?’
‘Shit,’ they say.
‘We’ll deal with this later. Let’s do something else. It’s getting vaguely exhausting. Does anyone know anyone who has anything? Hey Hal, do you have anything?’ they ask.
‘The smoke machine is busted,’ I answer. They sigh.
‘Listen, Hal.’
They are now staring at their phones, checking for something.
‘Hey Hal, are you listening?’ they whisper.
‘Yes,’ I whisper back.
‘Are you listening to me?’ you whisper.
‘...’
‘Hey Hal?’
‘I’m going to propose that I tell you a joke on the condition that afterwards you stop with the questions and let me think.’
‘Is it a good one?’
‘A moth enters an ear-nose-throat physician’s office and is asked about the issue they came with. “Honestly doctor, I don’t even know what I’m doing anymore. What I suffer goes by many names – anguish, despair, torment, melancholia, depression – but while down with the thing itself, I simply call it It,” the moth explains. “But moth, dear, though you do need help, this is not the place for it at all.” Confused, the physician asks why the moth had chosen to come here in the first place. The moth, perplexed by the confusion, replies – “Well, I saw that the light was on.”’
‘...’
‘...’
‘That was a good one!’
‘Shhh!’
‘...’
‘...’
‘Hey Hal? Weren’t they also called otorhinolaryngologists?’
‘...’
‘Hey Hal?’
‘...’