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Quartet for Extraction


I. Allegro

I'll sit here, but only if I get ice cream after. Only if you let me order from the man behind the counter. Only if I can lick my fingers instead of using a napkin. Only if you tell me what you're going to do with that spoon behind your back. And only if she balances a book on her head and says the alphabet backwards. Other than that, sure, sounds like fun. You can put your funnel on and we can get to work. My head has been k.i.l.l.i.n.g. me lately anyway. Surely, it can only get better.

II. Andante

My face feels weird when you do that. Cut into my face. Wait a second, who's the guy in the robe, and where has he been with my tea? These red pants were a mistake. I ate too much for breakfast. We probably shouldn't be doing this outside, it occurs to me. But maybe it had already occurred to you and you don't think that it's much of a concern. Fresh air, after all, is something that people have told me can be good for things. I guess I can hang the laundry outside later on. I think it smells better when it dries in the sun and the wind. Do you mind if I itch my nose? Or check my phone for updates? Do you mind if I look in the mirror to see what you're doing? Do you mind?

III. Grave

I think I know what you're doing now and it turns out that I don't like it one bit. You're lying to me. And I hate being lied to. It's not supposed to be a nice day later at all, and the mystery man doesn't have my tea at all. He just poured coffee from his urn and appears to be drinking it, even as I sit here with you pulling my brains out. After all I've done for you, all you can think to do is insult me. Well I won't stand for it anymore unless you do, in fact, deliver on your promise of ice cream. If you do, then I could hardly begrudge you.

IV. Larghissimo

The day has grown wider at its margins and I feel expansive with it. Possibilities in front of me. Behind me. I am a new person, lying here in the grass with the spoon on the table. I ate the ice cream cone with two hands and shut one eye to get a really close view of it. You kept your promise, and not many people do. That's what matters most to me. Honesty. Though unclear about the nature of your work, I have always known with great confidence that -- once completed -- it would bear fruit. Now I can relax again in the sun and put off hanging the laundry. I can sit here with the towel pressed against my head and relax knowing that it was all a job very well done.