Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

Switzerland (A Dialogue)

Okay, I got one.

Lets hear.

What's the most romantic thing you can think of?



Well, it certainly isn't this walk across this parking we're having. It's fucking cold and you haven't even given me a hug.

Fuck you.

The romance is dead.

Fuck you.

Now, answer the question.

Shit, I got no idea.

How about I never bought a girl flowers?

How's that romantic?

Avoiding the cliche?

I suddenly have this sympathy for girls you've dated.

I assume, cause you've asked me this stupid question, that you have an example.

Sir Edward Downes.


He was British conductor--

I know who he was. I've seen the news--he's the old dude who committed suicide with his wife.

No, no.

Well, yes.

But that puts it in the wrong--in the wrong vein, man. They went to an assisted suicide clinic, and took their own lives, rather than continue to suffer through health problems. It was a final act of a couple that had been married for over fifty years. The final act of a couple that cared so deeply for each other that they could not die even alone.

That's a disturbingly poetic way of looking at that.

You don't think it was romantic?

I think you're forgetting that he was blind, nearly deaf, and that his wife was carer--and I think she'd been recently diagnosed with cancer.

You think that changes it?

Fuck, yeah.

Added to that, why didn't you say Edward and Joan Downes?

He has a sir in front of his name?

It's a long fucking walk home, man.

Damn right it is, it's my car we came in.

And I'll do that logic to avoid this bullshit.

You don't think it's romantic?

Not in the slightest. I think it has an affection, no doubt, but it's also a sign of being afraid and depressed--I mean, you don't think, 'Hey, you know, the sun is shining, I feel great, maybe I'll go find a Swiss doctor and die.'

It doesn't mean it can't mean something.

No, but who thinks of romance first? To get to that state where you'd go to Switzerland, your health has got to be slowly chipped away at, you will to live eroded until the idea of dying seems like a good one. It's not the natural order of things to want to die, and not with your wife or husband by your side.


And, I'd like to point out, if I did that right now with the girl I was seeing, it'd be a suicide pact.

Why is it not a suicide pact when you're eighty?

You're not dating some girl.

With a good suicide pact, I could.

It's within my reach.

Dude, I don't know what to tell you--I think it's a dark and beautiful statement, and one of the romantic things I've ever heard.

That's fucked up.

At least it's not flowers.

Remember how I said I never did that?


In the real world, that puts me ahead of you.


  • Leviathan’s Blood Film

    Originally published at Ben Peek. You can comment here or there. The paperback release of Leviathan’s Blood is very soon and to…

  • A Bit of Bolano, Schafer, and Cooke.

    Originally published at Ben Peek. You can comment here or there. Here are a few more reviews of books I’ve read recently: 2666,…

  • Interview, A Few Books Read

    Originally published at Ben Peek. You can comment here or there. Just a small update today. If you’re interested, you can get a whole…

  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for friends only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded