Infinite Interpretation

A critic is late to see a play and is finishing her cigarette outside the venue when she runs into a ex-lover she hasn’t seen in years. The two stop and chat until the critic politely excuses herself and goes inside. During the play, the critic is paying attention to the actors while replaying the interaction she just had with her ex-lover (what their hair looked like, how they smelled, the exact words they used). Meanwhile her bladder is filling up. The critic is now wondering when the play will end and when she will be able to relieve herself. She’s aware that her mind is drifting, but she isn’t concerned. Onstage, two actors are having an argument…

The next day, the critic publishes her review and it is filled not only with thoughts about the play but thoughts about love, the passage of time, and aging. From sentence to sentence, it is unclear whether the critic is talking about herself or the fiction she saw performed. In any case, the writing makes a forceful recommendation to the reader: do not let this slip by you.

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