“It’s like evolution.” Sandra said just before she frantically shoved a huge wad of purple chewing gum into the side of her mouth. She was quitting nicotine. Her left cheek budged in the reflection of the window. It was the amount of gum that made a fantastic smacking sound with each cycle of tooth depress and release.
She almost needed to take a breath between each word as she spoke.
“You see- it’s like,- species need to adapt to their world to survive.- It’s millions of years of eating, -fucking-, and being eaten until some shmuck realizes- that they’re the product of all that fucking -and eating- working out in the safe gaps between danger. Between the predators’s abilities and between the berserk forces of nature. Everything alive has lived and still lives in those gaps. Everything that can live is alive you know?”
I saw her in the reflection: a sort of enormous ghostly being that floated over the street cars and sidewalk people. She picked up her iced coffee and held her gum aside to let the stream of cold mocha caffeine down her throat. Her cheek strained. Her permed and tightly curled hair floated around her face. The frazzled strands fell over the back of her white leather jacket which I knew had THE CLASH emblazoned on the back with the picture from “Give em’ enough rope” behind the curtain of wavy hair.
I spun the chair to turn towards her and leaned my elbow on the thin bar of wood that was bolted to the thick glass paneled window of the shop.
“What the fuck are you talking about Sandra?” I said.
She halted the stream of iced coffee and placed the plastic cup down. She took a spiteful chew of gum and, after the sucking sound, swiveled the stool to face me.
“What the hell I beensayingyoulisten!?” She said, her gum smacking between her words and gesturing with her free hand.
“What I’m saying is that everything alive is adapting to people. Adapting to us.Things that live in the gaps of our perception. Things we don’t have a clue about…or at least most regular people. not germs or shit neither. I mean like …on our level. Making sounds at pitches we cant hear , evolved enough to move right where and when no one can notice. Did you know that if you hold up your pointer fingers and look from one to the other, your brain makes up everything else around you?”
She leaned forward. The gum between her teeth silent as she expected me to say something.
“…Okay, so… it’s possible. Things can be sneaky.”
“No, it’s like they have always lived there, right where we could never find them….like. If you see a spider and you kill it. That spider will never appear ever again, but it’s sister that ‘s been in the radiators, she’ll be around forever.”
“Okay, I don’t care.” I said, looking back to the bustle of the sidewalk and traffic. A helicopter zoomed just over the buildings in the sky.
Sandra sipped her coffee in frustration. there was a few moments where she was quiet before the smack of her gum came quickly.
“Alright” she said “People can only look frontwards, and only if it’s light enough to see right?
“Yea” I said, lifting my hand from the table for a moment.
“So lets say that there is some being who lived out of sight and in the dark all the time. Like if it was just as intelligent as us. Only there is a whole society of them living between our gaps. Like the “inbetween people” or something. That they are just as much a being as us only-”
“Well” i said cutting her off “well, there would be know way to know would there?”
She thought a moment. Her gum gave a sucking chew in thought.
“Nah, I guess not.” she replied and resumed her iced coffee and aimlessly watching the city outside.
I looked down the street from the window. There were hundreds of people around and I thought for a moment what it would be like to slip between them.
For a moment I thought I heard someone in the cafe call my name.
I looked around and everyone inside was going about their lunch.
I must have misheard.
That night I made it back from work and put my keys down on the end table by the front door. They clattered into the glass dish filled with pennies and loose change.