3 women are sitting in a café, sipping from their steaming drinks, and talking. It’s neither rainy nor sunny outside, people are absorbed by their lives and bump into one another, there is some sort of stillness in the air.
Enter TOOL, the gullible; DOC, the cynical; and EM, the hopeful.
DOC – So you were saying, you met someone?
EM – Yes. And no. It’s complicated.
DOC – Already? Isn’t that lovely.
TOOL – What is he like?
DOC – Maybe it’s a she. That would be something.
EM – It’s a he. And I don’t know…
TOOL – You don’t …
DOC – … how in the world can you not know that?
EM – I met him online, on a website.
DOC – Jesus Lord have mercy upon her soul…
TOOL – A real life modern day fairy tale! Tell us all ’bout it!
DOC – Yes please do. Tell us all ’bout it.
EM – I know what you’re thinking. And it’s NOT like that. It’s different. He’s different. We randomly started to talk, I approached him to tell you the truth. And we’ve come to know each other so well. Better than most people ever do.
DOC – Have you seen his face?
TOOL – Ooooh…
EM – Not yet. We like to keep that mystery. To keep an aura of romanticism around our relationship.
DOC – I guess it’s a good thing. Practical too. A faceless psycho. Sounds like a catchy novel title does it not now? Perhaps you’ll be the star of a movie.
TOOL – You shouldn’t be that negative! Look at her, she’s radiating. I’m convinced this man is something special to her. I really am.
DOC – It’s the thing with you. You’re always convinced about everything. It’s like a trend with you.
EM – But she’s right. I told you it’s different. I mean that. I believe there are different ways of knowing someone than just seeing his face on the street you know? Different ways that we have yet to explore and discover, but these are here, ready for us.
TOOL – Exactly! Many more ways to get us to love! Plus now all the men that I meet down on the street are pigs. They just pass by, stare at my boobs, don’t care ’bout my face, watch girls in the streets like they’re piece of meat. This city is going down to shit.
EM – Hmm…
DOC – So what you’re saying is that men are pigs, but only in this city? Are you fucking kidding me?
TOOL – No’s not what I meant. I mean, if men are like that in real life. Who cares how they are online? They’re probably better!
DOC – You have an interesting line of thought.
EM – He’s not a pig, you can be sure of that!
DOC – But how in the world can you be sure of that? What proof do you have he’s actually not a 65 year old twisted sorry-ass grandma from the Bronx huh? Or worse? How do you know that?
EM – He sent pictures! Not of his face, but he did send them!
TOOL – Are those any good? I wanna see’em!
DOC – Is that supposed to prove a point? Anyone can get pictures of anyone today. Hell, I could log on to some dating shite and use a picture of Bey! That doesn’t make my ass look like hers now does it?
(EM reaches for her phone, there’s a prolonged silence. TOOL sips from her cup glancing over at DOC, incredulous.)
EM – Here, there you have it.
(EM shows out the pictures.)
TOOL – Holy guacamole! That’s hot!
DOC – Smh …
EM – There’s something you don’t seem to understand. All this, is just the new normal. Just an extension of what we used to know. Before, you used to met guys in bars, at the corner of the street or whatever, and you would go on a date, without knowing whether or not the guy was an asshole. In this case, I know what he’s like beforehand. It’s probably even better.
TOOL – Yes!
DOC – Is that so? And how?
EM – He writes! Nobody really communicates anymore. There’s just an abundance of useless texts, stupid emojis that even I can’t seem to stop using, and which seem to bring us back closer to the drawings on cave-walls. There’s no more letters, no more discussions, no more meaningful words. Do you understand that? When someone somewhere says “I love you” it should mean something, it should sound like the true feeling it expresses, not just like some sort of greeting that people offer to each other. What I have, what we have, is above that. I don’t give a damn about his face at this point, I like the fact that he writes, words, meanings, he plays with it, this is more human than anything out there, I can tell you that. It’s like, virtual has a soul somehow.
(TOOL wipes away a tear from her cheek, DOC looks up to the ceiling, the fan is turning quickly in an ominous noise.)
TOOL – That was so beautiful