And I'm answering my questions. All of them. And the answers are good.
They're so good that I go over my friend Jordan's house and beg him to listen. He does. He can't believe it. It makes perfect sense what I'm saying. I hit play on my tape recorder and we just can't believe how much I know.
I say to myself, Lev, Why is it that so many people don't wake up early in the morning?
Jordan hears me groan on the tape and then answer—Because coffee is better in the afternoon when it's not needed. Because people only wake up early to go places they'd never go if they didn't have to. Because we don't remember our dreams.
Jordan says, Hey, ask yourself a question for me, will ya?
But I'm not sure it works that way.
I tell Jordan I can't explain it, that I just talk in my sleep, ask whatever is on the mind.
Oh, come on, give it a try, will ya, he says.
I don't know, I was about to take a nap, why don't you ask me then. Why don't you see what happens if you whisper it to me.
I get comfortable on the couch, and later he leans over into my ear, and he does.
You see, he whispers, I got a girl problem. What should I do about this Tiffany I met last week at work?
What an answer! I didn't record it. Jordan said I should have because I told him exactly what to do—and he did it—and it worked even better than could be expected.
Tiffany and Jordan have another date scheduled next week and it's starting to look like marriage—at least, it does to me, if you were to ask, and Jordan does.
He wants me to help him out again, but I'm not tired.
Oh, come on, take a little nap for me, he says, I want to ask you something.
When I wake up, he looks better than he ever has.
Did I tell you to wear that? He smiles and I know I did.
Let's go out, Jordan says, I want to try out everything you said.
But Tiffany, I say.
Will say yes no matter what, Jordan says with a big grin, giving me a playful slap on the cheek.
At the bar, I see Sara. Her big eyes lock on mine and we're at it—talking, laughing, drinking, asking each other questions about things that don't matter, like do you believe in Santa Claus or catch July fireflies. I tell her about tape recorders and the ability to answer anything I'm asked. Except it's just in my sleep, I tell her, and she loves me for it. She's wild about it. Can't stand my lies, she says, can't believe I'd tell her something like this to be with her again.
Just one more night, I start to say, but she stops me.
It's okay, I don't mind if you talk in your sleep, she tells me, putting her hand on my knee.
Good, I say, because I want to tell you something tonight. Something special.
Only in your sleep, she says with a wink. She doesn't believe me. Not at all. But she loves it anyway.
Let's try it, she says, let's go back to my place. At worse, I'll kick you out.
At Sara's, I sit on her small couch waiting for whiskey sours, for her to place them on the coffee table, for her to wrap her arms around my shoulders, for her to pull me in against her. When she enters from her small kitchen with two drinks in hand, I don't know what to do but smile and say, Ask me something. Ask me anything you'd like to know. Anything at all, but wait til I'm asleep.
Something only you would know. Something no one else knows, I say, pulling her toward me.
She bites my bottom lip, smiles a little crooked and stares hard at me. She has something in mind, I can tell.
Something only I know, huh? she asks.
Yeah, I say, putting a finger to her lips. Not yet though.
And she does.
She waits until after our drinks, after the kiss, after we've held each other and said the things about future careers in environmental law and traveling to South Africa people like us say to each other, wrapped up on a small Ikea couch. She waits until my eyes close and my head rests on her pillow.
Then she does it—Sara asks me something about herself that not even she knows the answer to. Not yet.
What was it about? I ask when the bathroom light hits my face and I see her standing in its doorway.
She doesn't say a word, only takes the tape recorder in with her, and after a few minutes of muffled sounds, she comes out with last night's makeup running and brings the recorder back into bed with us.
Did you have me solve world hunger? Bring about peace?
When we listen to it, wrapped against each other underneath her sheets, she slides her hand into the waist of my pants and unbuttons me. She wants me.
Because I know her better than anyone else.
I know her more than she does.
About the Author: Christopher David DiCicco loves his wife and children—not writing minimalist stories. But he does. Work recently in Nib, Intellectual Refuge, Sundog, Cease, Cows!, Bohemia Arts &Lit, Gravel, Bartleby Snopes, Litro, First Stop Fiction, Literary Orphans, Flash Fiction Online—forthcoming in The Cossack, Penduline Press, The Story Shack, HOOT, Superstition, & Dark Matter Journal. www.cddicicco.com or on Twitter @ChrisDiCicco.
Story Song: "Car" by Built to Spill