*for part 1, click here*
[Lunch time at a diner].
‘“Hey, are you still here?” Starts snapping his fingers in front of his face.
— Oh, yeah. (Immediately refocuses back on his meal and lunch partner.) Sorry.
“You were spacing out, man. Again… Everything alright? Lately, you’ve been kind of ‘out there’.”
— I’m fine, it’s cool. This is some piece of meat! Right?! (Takes a huge bite out of his steak, chews loudly).
“I’ve said this before, but I’m gonna say it again. You know you can always count on me, tell me anything. I’ll never judge you.”
— For real. Everything is fine.
“I’m being serious, man. I care about you.” Grabs his shoulder from across the table.
The guy puts his fork on the plate, stops chewing and swallows. Takes a sip of water, gulps.
— Man, I don’t know. You’ll probably think I’m crazy.
— Look, (checks the room around for people close to him. His friend does the same out of precaution.) I’ve been… Hearing things.
“Things? Like… Voices?
— No, not voices. (Sighs) I’m not crazy. (Chuckles) It’s more like a noise.
“Yea, dude. That’s normal. We live in the middle of a fucking city. There are noises all around us. I spend 2 fucking months listening to a damn jackhammer every time I was in silence. You know what it was? I was working 50 hours a week in an office right in front a damn construction. Even though I almost couldn’t hear it from inside, subconsciously I was taking it all in. It’s the same. It’ll wear out, trust me.”
— (Slams on the table, people look at them). No, fuck! Listen to me! It’s a hum, and it doesn’t stop. It’s always there. It’s driving me fucking crazy. There’s no way to stop it. I think I’m losing it, man.
“Alright, alright, calm down. People are staring at us. I believe you. A hum… Ok. Is it like a hum mmm mmm, like blues or gospel song or like a —.
— See? Now you’re making fun of me.
“No, no, no, my bad. (Laughs to himself) I’m being an asshole. It’s one of my rules: If I think of a joke, I gotta say it. No matter how bad it is. I’ll roll with it. Try to make the world a more cheerful place. Mind you, it doesn’t always work. But you get it, right?”
— Forget I ever said anything.
“Tell me more about it, I’m interested.” Picks a fry from his friend’s dish and eats it. “A hum, you say. Can you hear it right now?”
— I’m trying to explain. This is fucking serious. I hear it when I’m with you, with Stace, fuck man, I hear it before going to sleep, WHILE SLEEPING! It doesn’t stop. I mean, I can hear you, but on top of your words or under them, there it is again, a hum. So, I try to separate them, on one channel your dialogue, the other channel the hum. You know? Multi talking, or multi-hearing, I think I’m getting it.
“Now that’s fucking crazy, man. I’m sorry. Have you seen a doctor?”
— I’m fine, I’m healthy. Got the tests done. That’s why I was late. They can’t find anything. What a fucking waste of time. A psychiatrist recommended pills. Dude… Pills! For me! Like the most regular guy on Earth. Fuck him, I’m not taking crazy pills. Become ‘another statistic’. I’m gonna beat it.
“Ok, I’ll bite. Go ahead. No wait.” Calls the waiter. “Can you bring us a piece of key lime pie and what do you want? Oh, I know… Some carrot cake, Please. Thanks.”
“We’re gonna eat dessert. I’m gonna get my daily dose of diabetes and calories, and then you’re gonna explain how to beat this ‘abstract hum’. Believe me, I’m invested now.”