“Being” by Allyson Batchelder

dan woke up at 11:22. unusually early. he showered, brushed his teeth, checked his email, and walked to a cafe. he bought a coffee. he drank it and read the newspaper. he walked back to his apartment. dan opened all of the windows. dan knew he wasn’t a real person, but it didn’t bother him. he felt alright today.

it was hot humid, and raining softly. all of the furniture dampened and the wood expanded. dan spent most of the day on the internet, writing, reading. dan closed his computer and checked his cell phone. he had a text message from ellen that said “come out tonight!” dan rolled a joint and smoked it in his bedroom. he changed his clothes and walked to the bar. at the bar he met ellen, sarah, liam, lisa, and paul. sarah gave him a hug. dan acknowledged that it was the first time he had made contact with another human being all day, he smiled a little bit. sarah wouldn’t let him down.

dan drank rum and coke. his friends mostly talked about work, music, and things on the internet. dan laughed at the jokes that were supposed to be funny. he said “yeah,” or “no way” or “fuck that” when he was supposed to. someone had to do it.

it got quiet for a few minutes and liam looked down at the table and said “guys, how much longer do you think we should keep dan around?” sarah picked up the lable on her beer with her fingers. ellen glanced over at dan, who stared at the floor. liam said “we don’t need this, really” dan laughed. he felt alright. “ok,” said ellen. lisa slowly nodded her head in agreement, “i guess you’re right.”

sarah got up and went to the bathroom. dan walked outside to smoke a cigarette. he never felt scared about being imagined. his immaterial life felt honest and necessary. tomorrow he would again subsist off of the hangovers of the five people in the bar. he walked back to his apartment.

Profile: Allyson Batchelder

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