Interviews From A Public Breakup


Man: We were at the park when she confessed that she had been sleeping with another man. She confessed that she had begun to love him more than she loved me. She confessed that she wanted to leave me and hope that I wouldn’t take it the wrong way. She implied that he was better in bed. She always tries to belittle me in the smallest way. I sat down and put my head in my hands. I was shaking — not in anger, but shock and disbelief. How could she have done this to me after two years of going out? I asked her the only thing I could think of: Why? She didn’t say anything. She was quiet. Her silence made me angry, I wanted to tear something apart, but she had already torn us apart with her confession. I saw her walk away from me and that made me furious. She was letting me know of the physical distance she had established between her and me. I wish she’d tripped over that dog. Oh, God, if only she had kept this to herself, if only she had not told me.

Woman: We were at the park over by the bridge when I felt the need to confess to my then-boyfriend that I had slept with another man for a couple of nights while he was out of town. I don’t know why I said it, but I did, and I let it slip that I wasn’t feeling connected with him anymore. I told him that the sex wasn’t that great — the other man — but I think he took it the wrong way. He sat down and didn’t talk for a while and that unsettled me, but he asked me why and I couldn’t give him a straight answer so I kept my mouth shut, just in case he decided to do something stupid. He was shaking so bad I thought he was going to punch something so I kind of kept my distance, just out of arm’s reach, but close enough for us to whisper. I almost tripped over a dog when I took a step back. I want to be friends with him, but I don’t think he heard me over that girl crying. He was muttering to himself about wishing that he had never heard me say that I slept with someone else or something, but really, I’d love to be friends with him, we had so much history together.

Boy: I was in the park playing with my friends when I saw this man sit down and start to cry like a little girl so I dropped what I was doing to spy on them and he really was crying! The lady said something about sleeping, so I think she overslept for their date, I think. The guy is a wuss! I ran to my friends and told them to come with me to watch a grown up cry and we ran into the slide to watch him. Someone hit me and yelled, “Cooties, you have cooties,” and I ran after them to tag them back and when I looked over my shoulder, the man and the woman were gone.

Girl: I was in the park with my sister when I saw a woman do something mean to this guy. He looked like my dad but he wasn’t, I think my dad is stronger than he is. The woman said, “I feel that we aren’t connecting anymore,” what does that mean? Here, let me touch your arm, are we connected? Maybe they should’ve hugged, I don’t know. I asked my sister what was going on and she thought they were “breaking up.” I asked her what that meant too, but she shushed me and I felt angry. It was our time to play — she always does this to me, she thinks she’s too good for me. I kicked her and she hit me on the arm and I cried, so I ran away from her.

Old Man: I always take a walk around this time and watch the ships pass by over here on this bench. What? Oh, yes, there was a couple over there, by the fountain, just out of earshot. My hearing isn’t so good but my eyes are still like a hawk’s. Did I tell you I used to be in the Navy? I shot down maybe ten of those Nazi pla — oh, yes, the couple, yes. They were over there on the fountain and I think he was proposing to his girlfriend, yes, I think that was it. She must’ve said no because he sat there with his head in his hands, the poor kid. I proposed to my wife in front of my high school buddies just before I went off to war, did you know that? I can still remember what she wore that day, I have a picture of her. Here, take a look at her, isn’t she a beauty? Yes, when I got back from the war, let me tell you, I did the best I could for her. We’ve been together for 68 years and haven’t looked back. That boy over there, he’s a lucky boy, because that girl was headstrong enough to realize how serious a marriage is, she knew he wasn’t the right one. Poor boy, I’m sure he’ll find someone someday to have kids with. I saw a group kids over by the playground running after each other and said to myself, never again will I have kids. Say, what about you, do you have children?

Dogwalker: This is my dog, Ippy. Yes, he’s a Schnauzer. Don’t worry; he doesn’t bite. Say hello, Ippy. Good boy! A couple? Yeah, I saw them. I walked by them with Ippy actually, and the woman almost killed my dog. Yeah! Almost stepped on his poor paw. I gave her a dirty look, she’d better watch where’s she’s stepping next time. Ippy is a little mean when he gets irritated. I was too flustered with what happened to Ippy that I picked him up and walked as quickly to a bench to see if he was okay. My little puppy, yes you are; here’s a treat! Ah, can I ask you for a favor? Can you watch Ippy for a little bit, I have to use the lady’s room. Thanks!

Dog: My moments of pure joy are extracted from my life when that hell-bitch comes and coddles me as if I’m a goddamn puppy again. I may weigh just 14 lbs but I’m nine years old; that’s about 57 years for you goddamn pricks. Listen, to me and listen good. Enjoy your life before you get strapped on a leash, you understand me? That man had it good. The woman broke up with him. He has it made. He can piss on the carpet and no one would belittle him and make him wear diapers. He can eat anything he wants whenever he wants. I envy that man, I just want to bar—oh, here she comes, just pretend I didn’t tell you anything.

Pigeon: My observation post is that structure located a quarter-click away from the structure you call “fountain.” Yes, it resembles a being, but not of a humanoid — oh, it is a person, you say? Why would it have six legs then? Oh, a horse? I do not understand what you mean by “horse,” but I will continue. Yes, there were two humans by the “fountain,” do you mind if I call it “The Source,” it would help me explain it better. Yes, it creates “coa-qua” that we consume in abundance, therefore, The Source. Are we on level terms? May I proceed? Of course, yes, the male human seemed to be in utmost distress; in our language, we call it “coo-coo,” yes, but with more rumbling from below your crop. You don’t have a crop? Why, humans are more peculiar than we thought. Yes, I understand, the couple. The “coo-coo” male human who was in similar stature of the female human planted his rear near the basin of The Source. Many of us were shocked, as this presented a potential contamination, but as you humans call it, “Lucky Ladle was on our side.” They exchanged information through the verbal mode of communication and promptly left The Source as it had been before their arrival. There is nothing more to report. Oh, and I do not mean to impose, but if you would be so kind, please break a piece of that pretzel, thank you.

Mother: Why don’t you call me more often? What couple, I don’t know what you’re talking about. How are you, are you eating enough? Do I need to send you some money? Where are you right now? Why the hell are you in a park right now? Don’t you have a job? Oh God, Michael, what are you doing with you life? Your father and I each worked two jobs to get you and your brother through school and all you’re doing is hanging out at a park? Did I raise you to be some sort of bum? I can’t believe this. Michael, come home, I know someone that can get you a job to start out with. What? You don’t want to work at O’Rourke’s? It’s a job, isn’t it? Don’t start with me, young man, who do you think you’re speaking to? Listen to me and you’ll have no problems in life. I’ll see you for dinner, right? I love you, okay, goodbye. Oh, and one more thing, can you call your brother and tell him he has a package for him from Nebraska? I don’t know what the kid does anymore. No, he doesn’t like it when I call him. You call him. You call him; I’m busy! Goodbye, Michael, no — goodbye. I’ll see you later, bye.

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