"Well…" Yurei shuffles his feet for a moment while standing next to his truck. He is filling it with gasoline, and entertaining notions of pouring some of the same on his head and setting it alight. "It's not what I normally listen to."

"What I wanna know is if you like it or not?" Demands the woman. Her name is Kate. She has giant mammary glands and in certain rather annoying circles, it is believed that these boobs are the sole things keeping the Yurei interested in Kate. Kate has spent the last six weeks dating the Yurei, who was first entertained by the notion of going out with someone so different. Little did he realize that this difference also came with a penalty, a closed mind. Truth be known, Yurei cannot comprehend, reverse engineer or decompile Kate and her inability to accept anything other than what her 'bible' tells her. Even things that Yurei knows cannot be wrong. Things that he has spent a life believing and has thought out very carefully, or so he would like to think. Things like that there is no God in the sense that Kate thinks there is. There is a god but no one on the planet knows who, what or how many there are of them, and that no one on the planet is qualified to make the judgement either way. This makes Yurei rather frustrated at times, because Kate is decent looking, treats him all right and they have in the past had a series of rather heated debates over a number of things. They are good discussions and Yurei typically enjoys this sort of thing. However the lack of ability to accept anything other than what she thinks is truth makes Yurei rather pissed sometimes, the world is not that simple. It never has been, nor will it ever be simple. Yurei has seen parts of the world, and would like to think that he has a slight grasp on the things going on around him. Aside from being a giant flake, Yurei is pretty much right about that whole bit.

"I dunno. I mean it's not Front Line Assembly." Yurei sighs, knowing that he is being Tested. He is not in the mood for a Test of any kind, let alone one where he gets to play the patsy at the end no matter what he says. The fact that he is suffering from the beginnings of what looks like another four-day migraine isn't contributing anything useful either. "It's just, really, really different from what I normally listen to."

"Do you like it?" Kate asks coquettishly, twisting in her seat in the cab of the truck to face out of the rear window at Yurei. Her face is framed there in the off-blue/white pallor of the magnesium white light from overhead. Skin is blue-gray, hair flat yellow, Kate looks dead. So does the Yurei, which is pretty close to the truth sometimes but that is for another day. "It's okay, I just want to know what you think of it."

"You don't want to know what I think." Yurei mumbles as he removes the hose from the receptacle in the side of his truck. He replaces the hose back on the pump and makes a heroic attempt to figure out why the machine is bleeping at him. Through the haze of pain drifting idly through his head, he manages to figure out that it wants to give him a receipt. He takes it from the dispenser with the idle motion of a sentenced inmate. Yurei stares at it and tries to look interested while his mind races to come up with an answer that will stop the conversation before it goes any farther. He notices a pattern in the numbers on the receipt, a string of four prime numbers in a row in two places on the slip of still warm thermographic printer paper. Yurei, now lost in the miracle of being charged $12.37 for 11.13 gallons of gas forgets to think of an answer. He climbs inside the truck and retaliates with a move of pure tactical stalling. "Whad'ya say?"
"I said, do you like it?" Kate says, in an almost embittered tone.
"The Amy Grant?" Yurei asks while putting on his seat belt and still thinking of the primes. In his mind, he is attempting to figure out the exact third decimal place beyond the 11 in the 1.11 in the price of the gas. Amy Grant intrudes rudely into pure numerical function as the engine turns over, catches and supplies power to the CD player in the dash thus causing Yurei to forget about the entire problem promptly. "Well, you want me to be honest."
"Yes." Kate says in a not half-bad attempt at sounding sincere. "Yes, I want you to be honest."
"I fucking hate it. I mean, I can't stand the shit, it drives me up a fucking wall. Honestly, it sounds worse than a cat being run over by a flaming bus full of nuns. It's the same pure putrid commercialist shit that they play on a thousand radio stations all over this country. It's goddamn cookie cutter pop, I fucking hate cookie cutter pop and you know that." Yurei rolls the window down while lighting a cigarette and wonders if saying all of that was a good idea. He will remember it later as not being the best possible thing that he could have said at the time, despite the growing suspicion that he may have genuinely screwed it away this time. In a spasm of sudden regret and atypical placation motivated by a sudden sensation that the entire time he and Kate have been dating he has been the one that is wrong, Yurei adds: "But at least it has somewhat original lyrics."
"I can't believe you just said that." Obviously, Kate has learned nothing in the last six weeks of the Yurei or how idiotically he operates on occasion. Either that or she is just plain dumbfounded by the string of mortally offending profanity that she specifically requested not to be dispensed in her presence.
"You wanted to know."
"All you needed to say was that you didn't like it. You didn't have to say all of that."
"I tried to tell you."
"No, you didn't." Kate's anger with the situation has become palpable. The Yurei is aware of this and steels himself for what is coming next. "I don't think this is going to work out."
"What?" No physical violence, just the magic words that the Yurei has been praying for, no pun intended of course. "What, the CD?"
"No, us." Kate states genuinely defeated, staring at the floor.
"Oh." Kate can't see this in the dark as they pull out of the gas station and on to the freeway, but the Yurei is grimacing a little grimace, and generally being a little confused about semantics.

back to Phase Maintenance

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.