“Things happen?” Phil’s hand went to the back of his neck and squeezed, “what things?”
“That’s not entirely up to me, now is it?” still swinging her feet, she sounded almost indifferent.
“You’re being deliberately opaque,” he accused.
“Too bad, I was going for superficially compliant,” she said, now with a disquieting hint of mirth.
“Uh,” his hand returned to his neck, “why don’t you jump down from there?”
“I would,” she paused for a moment, stopped the swinging, and looked up at the sky, “but what if I should land somewhere between your angst and your attitude?”
“That seems almost inevitable,” he muttered with resignation, his hand dropping to his side.
She floated down, landing easily, incongruously, on the platform a foot away from him. “Or I could just leave.”
“So now you’re reading my mind?” he prided himself on not suggesting where she could go.
“Nope. Your face, body language,” she made no effort to move away from him.
“Why did you come here?” he noticed how pretty she was, wishing that he hadn’t.
Several long seconds later she moved, stepping just inside the car. “That begs several questions.”
“Such as?” on autopilot, he followed.
She grabbed the hem of her coat with both hands and snapped it to dislodge now imaginary snowflakes. “Why did you come here? Did I come here, or was I already here? Last, but not least, where is here?”
“First one is easy, the other two, I don’t know. I came here in search of the truth.”
“Lord. It’s worse than I thought,” she pulled back the hood of her coat in no particular hurry and shook out her long hair, then caught him in her gaze, “especially since you don’t know where you are. All you’ve figured out is that your position is relative to the position of the observer – that being you, Mr. Einstein.”
“There’s truth in science,” he defended with what he hoped was finality.
“Possibly. However, that truth is dependent on the initial premise itself.”
“Great, I suppose you’re going all Jefferson Airplane lyrics on me next.”
“When the truth is found to lies, and all that? No. But, ooh, Mickey Thomas – the best ‘heyyy’ ever in rock and roll history!” she flashed a glorious smile.
“That’s irrelevant,” he didn’t return the smile.
“Nothing is irrelevant. In the alternative, everything is. Your choice …” she glanced up and down the length of the car, “speaking of – you could as well have gone first class, you know.”
“Fine. Can we get back to the truth then?”
“I wasn’t aware that we were in the truth, but sure, okay. Bottom line is that you don’t really want truth,” her chin puckered her bottom lip into a slightly disapproving pout.
“Of course I do! Everyone wants the truth,” he stated, finding himself more aggravated at her attractiveness than anything else.
“So you’re going to reference the CIA lobby now, ‘and the truth shall set you free’?”
“If you’re going to reference Jefferson Airplane, then yeah, I can – “
“I didn’t, you did. You inferred it,” she returned.
“Either way, but truth is freedom.”
“The binding, blinding truth? No, it imprisons you.”
“Maybe you, not me,” he scoffed.
“Of course it does. It sets parameters according to indisputable facts, like so many fence posts set in the ground. Then you make it worse by stringing chicken wire around them. Boom! You’re boxed in. Nowhere to go.”
“I thought you said this was the place where things happen.”
“Only if you allow it,” she said, turning toward the still open door and walking away.
“Wait! What about clarity?”
“I told you that was my name,” she said evenly, “we both mistakenly assumed that I could impart it.”