Short Fuse

The Empty Studio

Justin Gosker (NL) —

On a car ride with my father and his friend, I was sitting in the back seat staring out the window at the passing scene of forest and highway. My father was in the passenger seat and his friend was driving.

A discussion started between my father and his friend about what was romantic. About what was a romantic thing to do? My father was in constant disagreement with his friend.

‘Giving roses is romantic’ his friend started

‘Noooo’ my father replied.

‘Champaign on top of a mountain.’


‘Dinner for two.’


‘Getting married on top of a mountain in Costa Rica.’


And on it went. The list went on and my father continued to disagree. I became more and more attentive to the now heated disagreement in the front of the car.

Finely my fathers’ friend was out of ideas, and with clear frustration said:

‘Well whet the HELL do you think IS romantic?’

‘Oh well ahhh’ followed by a long pause, ‘its more in what you don’t do’ my father replied.