The Reality Testing Booth
At the Reality Testing Booth, or as Beatrice liked to say, “at the Reality Testing Boof,” Beatrice and Walter B. had a realization. It was almost morning. They brought with them four things to test: hat, love, day, and the delectable. Each test required a small gold token. They were a little scared. Walter B. only had enough for three, and Beatrice, well Beatrice, she was all out of small gold tokens. It was strange to choose, but it seemed only right to first test an object, so they held the hat up first and waited for the printout. They waited for a long time. They waited for hours. And then they waited for days. It was a long, long wait, this waiting. Walter B. began, in this waiting, to speak of “the objective evaluation of situations that enable one to distinguish between the external and internal worlds and between the self and the nonself.” Beatrice listened. She listened carefully, and as she listened she began to grow very fond of Walter B. As if it was actually he who was the love that made each of her days delectable.
“The Reality Testing Booth” first appeared in Indiana Review, Winter 2004.