Joshua Hebburn

There were two people, maybe they were a couple, together on the bus. It was my usual bus. I didn’t recognize them. I heard them say this, it was unusual, and so I wrote it: “I told him that I told him,” the guy said, “it’s what he told me.” She said back, “He didn’t tell you that.” She said, “He told you, before, he was who told you about it.” Because I wrote it, I lost the conversation from that point forward. I could’ve been mistaken about it. I was curious about it: what could it be, and what about them? What would it have been if it weren’t what I heard? Since I’m a writer—forgive me—back at my home I wrote the conversation, how it might go through the next few stops, and another conversation that didn’t quite complement it. I wrote about the public pool, where I have never stopped, the way the pool light goes up with kid screaming and laughing and splashing into the old trees that overhang it. I made a line break and rewrote the conversation, made the guy say, “I told him about it” and went through it from there. I selected these words. I hit the delete key. I’ve never once stopped at the public pool though every day I enjoy seeing it.

Joshua Hebburn edits fiction for Hobart and recommends re-reading Shoplifting from American Apparel.