"I hate talking about myself, and I hate when people ask. Gives away too much. I don't know."
"Really? I thought everyone loves people to be attentive, to care about getting to know you and stuff."
"Not me. I'm happy to be a supporting actor in the public eye. I want to be the person at the party everybody only knows the first name of, nothing else."
The view from the rooftop was breathtaking. There was something magical about electric light shining warmly from countless windows against the backdrop of the cool colours of shadows on the concrete towers. They had brought two beverage crates from the party to sit on, she had sunk into someone's giant borrowed hoodie and he'd draped his own sweater over his shoulders. The breeze was not unwelcome, though, after sharing the air in their friend's appartment several stories lower with at least 40 other people. An array of cigarette butts around them indicated they weren't the only ones taking advantage of the buildings sloppy caretaker who had a tendency to forget to lock the door after checking on the gas units on the roof.
"Where'd you wanna go from here?"
"Like, here, exactly?"
"Silly. Just, life-wise. What's your plan?"
"Good question. I don't really have one."
"None at all?"
"I don't know."
"Well I wanna pitch some of my animation stuff to a couple studios. I live for it, I swear. I've got no backup plan, in fact."
"Aren't you scared?"
"Sort of. I try not to think about it, though. What about you, don't you have that one thing you wanna do?"
"Sort of. But I'm not much of a self-marketer. I don't really believe in success, anymore. So far, I feel like I'm doomed to be average in anything. Jeez, that sounds miserable. I don't want to sound miserable. I'm just through with over-excitement and expectations that life won't meet."
"You don't seem like average to me."
"That's what everyone says. Facts speak for themselves though."
"What facts, may I ask?"
"I don't know. I can't seem to find an audience for what I do. And no employer, it seems."
"You're only just starting out."
"Come on. I'm not. There's people half my age who do better. I always end up giving these comparisons, which I shouldn't, I know, but it's true. There's not always happy ends to stories. Sometimes people just live a bland life searching for what they can't have, and just quietly fade away sans pomp and drama. I'm starting to think that I'm one of those."
"I don't want you to think that. Even if that is the case, it's nicer to live your life hoping for something."
They sat in silence, only faint beats from the party and the noise of cars occasionally driving past in the street down below creating ambient noise for their tiny private function. The wind grew stronger, clouds moved faster. Timelessness had cradled both of them in her hands, slowly wiping thoughts of the future off their minds. The feeling would be fleeting, though. Soon Greg and Vanessa and Chavi would come up there with cigarettes and drinks, and the sun would set, and darkness would make the window look even more homely, and a feeling of comradery with all of humankind would quietly bloom in their minds upon the sight, but time will have returned. Life would be a riddle again.
"But holy shit, it's difficult," he said.