May lives in a cramped apartment near the edges of the city, not quite downtown, not quite suburbia. The windows have bars and the pubs open at noon to a steady trickle of midday alcoholics. She lives alone. The furniture is sparse but books and clothes and other sundry items cover every available surface. Thick stacks of texts accumulated over many years of schooling serve as coffee tables and tables serve as storage. May eats at her desk, watching shows online as she dines.
June lives in the downtown core, in a cramped apartment she shares with 5 other people. The windows open and the bars are hip and trendy, charging a cover to sweat in a crowd. In the apartment, her belongings have made a hasty retreat into the confines of her room as the more aggressive roommates fight for dominance over the living room floor. June eats walking, somewhere, anywhere. She doesn’t like to sit still.
June is in love with a man who categorically refuses to make eye contact with her. May believes she is incapable of love. Love itself has not been kind to either, but of course, love is not generally kind. June goes out at every opportunity, hoping to see the man who refuses to make eye contact. May generally stays in, she has too much work to do, many more book coffee tables to accumulate.
Neither May nor June have many friends, but June keeps up a steady pool of acquaintances with which to go out. May does not like small talk, and so does not have many friends. June distrusts people, and so…
On her way to work, May passes June’s apartment, though she does not realize it. She does not know June. She does not know anyone, not really. Does anyone really know anyone? May only knows she most certainly does not. June suspects she does not know anyone (not really) but tries not to think about it much. Neither are the philosophical sort.
May and June. They both fear car accidents, eat cereal with yogurt, and refuse to follow politics out of principle. They prefer cats to dogs and loneliness to pretending. They don’t understand people. They once hid behind a door, waiting to jump out at someone, and heard something they shouldn’t have. Once, May had a friend name Samantha, who she told to go to hell because she was singing a song she didn’t like. Change Samantha to Dee, and “to hell” with something a little ruder, and you’ve got June’s story.
June and May. Count the mornings slept through, and the days spent making money to spend, and the assignments they didn’t want to do, but before that try to guess who’s count came out on top. Now guess some more. Which one of them hates coffee and which one of them loves to put lemon in their camomile tea? If you take them to the gym, which one will want to run and which one will want to row? Is it May who loves trains? Does June hate airplanes? Which one of them had their first kiss on a park bench drunk off Smirnoff Ice? You’ve heard so much about them, now try to guess. Can you?
One night, they both pay a cover to get into a place with a clever name like Story Time, or Fiction, so they can sweat in a crowd and drink seven dollar beers. After the third such beer they stumble their way into the crowd, May with her childhood friend and June with a crowd of acquaintances (the lack of eye contact man in tow). A few feet from each other, though they do not realize it (why would they?), May and June dance and sway and turn around and around, swaying and turning, turning and turning, like the whole world, the whole wide world, has become a blender, moving to some techno beat.