[McSweeney’s recently published Ben Greenman’s collection Superbad.]
I was minding my own business.
I was at home watching television.
The show was a police drama.
Everyone told me that it was fantastic.
I didn’t see the appeal.
The older detective was always shouting at the younger detective.
The younger detective was always chomping at the bit to solve the cases quickly.
Their female sergeant wore her uniform comically tight.
The first ten minutes bored me so much I almost fell asleep.
I went out for a walk.
The spring air buoyed my mood, as did the spring trees.
I walked by a park.
I walked by a statue that reminded me of a woman.
I called that woman on the telephone.
She was home.
This surprised me, because I thought she had moved out of town.
I asked her if I could come over.
She said that would be nice.
She told me she was married.
I reminded her that she had been married throughout our time together.
She hung up the phone.
I bought a bottle of dry white wine and went to her apartment.
She opened the door before I knocked.
She was wearing a man’s dress shirt and women’s underwear.
She said she was psychic.
Then she said she wasn’t psychic, somewhat apologetically.
She said that she had seen me on the security camera.
I told her that I knew she wasn’t psychic.
I told her that if she was really psychic she wouldn’t have gotten married to her husband.
She told me not to mention him.
I went to the kitchen to open the wine.
She went to the couch and turned on the television.
The same show that I had been watching at home was still on.
She said it was a two-hour season finale.
I didn’t say anything.
She said she loved the show more than life itself.
I didn’t say anything.
We sat and watched the show.
The younger detective was certain he knew where the killer was hiding.
The older detective had his head buried in a file.
The female sergeant kissed the younger detective in a stairwell.
The older detective drank too much and looked at himself reproachfully in the mirror.
The killer got a job mopping floors in the police station.
The female sergeant had a dream that the younger detective shot and killed the older detective.
I poured us more wine and moved closer to her on the couch.
The outside of her thigh had a noticeable pulse that I always said was her leg’s heartbeat.
She always told me that if it was pulsing that much on the outside of her leg I should feel the inside.
I did during the commercial, briefly.
When the show came back on she told me to stop.
She asked me what I thought would happen.
I said that I thought that the female sergeant’s dream would come true.
She said no.
She said that the female sergeant had dreams every episode and they never came true.
She said they were supposed to be read as clues for future cases but that they had nothing to do with this episode’s case.
I asked if the female detective was psychic.
She said that’s what she meant by saying that her dreams were clues to future cases.
She told me to be quiet so we could watch the show.
A baby I did not recognize was rescued by a woman I did not recognize.
A man I did not recognize beat another man I did not recognize with a tire-iron.
This elicited a gasp from the woman.
She said that Eric might die.
I said that was too bad but that I would feel worse if I knew who Eric was.
A boy on a bicycle rode straight at the camera, ringing his bicycle bell excitedly.
She asked me if it was bell time already.
I told her I didn’t know what she meant.
She explained that ten minutes before the end of every show the boy on the bicycle appeared.
She told me that the last ten minutes were always a doozy and this was a way of reminding audiences to stop getting snacks or going to the bathroom or talking.
I said that was interesting.
Or talking, she said.
The older detective died of a heart attack.
The younger detective shot and killed the killer.
The female sergeant wept at the older detective’s funeral as she held the hand of the younger detective.
The killer’s funeral was not shown.
The show ended.
She was crying.
She unbuttoned her men’s dress shirt and pulled my hand inside it.
She said she loved that show.
She said that she didn’t know how she would get through the summer without it.
I agreed that it was a great show, much better than I had expected.
Thus was my honesty murdered.