The Non-Dialogue

Write a dialogue between two people who never quite listen to what the other person is saying. It ends up as two different conversations, where neither of them ever quite realizes that they are not on the same page and are not talking about the same thing.

10 responses to “The Non-Dialogue

  1. Sarah: I can’t decide what to do this afternoon.

    Jane: I’m going to church and help other people.

    Sarah: If I plant my new Profusion Beautyberry,
    I’ll first need to amend the soil.

    Jane: What makes you think you’re a beauty?
    You’re always thinking about yourself.
    Girl, you do need to make amends.

    Sarah: Maybe I’ll sew instead.
    I’m afraid the ground is too hard to dig into.

    Jane: We reap what we sow. No way around it.
    You start by digging in.
    Besides, the Bible says fear is a sin.

    Sarah: I see the Tule fog rolling in.

    Jane: Well what do you expect? You are getting older.
    My brain has been a bit foggy too.

    Sarah: Fall has arrived!

    Jane: Yep, ever since I twisted my ankle
    and took that fall down the stairs.

  2. Tink, That was terrific. I don’t think either one heard the other. It’s funny too!

  3. Thank you Ann.

  4. “That’s a nice backpack you have there, Tommy.” Janice twists her Maryjane’s into the sidewalk.

    “Uh, yeah. JanSport.” Tommy looks at Janice for a second, but drops his eyes down to the ground. “Mom got it for me, ‘cuz I keep ripp’n ’em.”

    “So, you goin’ to the dance?”

    “I… I don’t know. You?” Tommy stole another glance at Janice and retreated to inspecting the sidewalk again.

    “Well, I was think’n about it. I was hoping someone would ask me.” She leaned slightly toward Tommy.

    Tommy’s shoulders let down in an exhale, pulled down with his frown. “Oh.” He kicked at a small clod of red clay. “Yeah. I’m sure John’s gonna ask ya.”

    “He might.” She stepped closer to Tommy. She could reach and touch him now.

    “Yeah, I bet right after lunch.” Tommy shrugged his backpack and walked past her.

    Janice turned and walked away saying to herself, “But, I wished you would.”

    Tommy didn’t look back and whispered, “I wished I could.”

  5. Teen angst. I sure am happy to be leaving that behind. You capture it well!

  6. Charles Thesterflux attends the opening of a show at a Philadelphia gallery named Zacrilege where the paintings by the artist Arizona Crabhearts are on display. Arizona herself is not talking to Charles directly, but her comments are made as she travels to the show. Charles is a fifty-year-old, divorced, and bored radiologist who is rich but only well-educated in one area—reading x-rays, scans, and MRI images. He is on his first date with Ms. Ramona Ramshot, aged thirty-two, an up-and-coming liability attorney he met while being deposed on a patient who was suing a bicycle helmet company for $6,000,000 as a result of a brain injury that the helmet did nothing to prevent.

    Charles and Ramona stand side-by-side, examining a five foot high, abstract painting called, “Lightning and the Navel of the World.”

    Charles Thesterflux (small chuckle): It reminds me of an MRI of a subcutaneous orbital hematoma. You’d never believe how interesting they can be if you look at them as an abstraction.

    Ramona Ramshot (squinting slightly): Close up of a gunshot wound in black and white with a small man in the corner who has witnessed what may or may not have been an accidental shooting. I had one of those last week. Took the case.

    Arizona Crabhearts (remembering while waiting at the baggage claim): I had just opened my mail to first read an eviction notice and then an invitation to have a solo show at the Zacrilege Gallery, so I was celebrating with some violent paint splattering. Blindfolded.

    Charles (peering at the price tag): I might buy it if they’d knock about 20% off the price. Ten grand is too much.

    Ramona (head swiveling left and right): I wonder if they’re going to bring the champagne around or if we’re supposed to go get our own. Do you know?

    Arizona (internal monologue as she narrates her life): Then I took the blindfold off and tried not to look at the canvas because it initially looked like a black and white version of the pizza I’d eaten the night before. But seriously, upon reflection, the joy came screaming off the canvas, especially when I worked on it a bit more. I really do paint best when I am in the grip of strong emotion.

    Charles (rubbing his chin with the thumb and fingers of his left hand): Of course, my alimony payment might have to come out of my 401K if I do buy it. (Hand flips open.) But so what? I’ve got a fortune in there, just waiting for something to spend it on. Screw the penalty. Right?

    Ramona (champagne glass in one hand, canapé in the other): What are these? Is this crab and brie on wasabi crackers? Mmmmmm!

    Arizona (in a taxi, late for her own show): I’m glad I jacked up the price on the big one. I have to start factoring costs like rent, food, supplies, taxes. I hate thinking about this stuff. Just buy the blipping art.

    Charles: Do you think I should make an offer?

    Ramona: Try one of these!

    Arizona (arriving, looking around, and mumbling): Who are these people?

    Charles: Is that the artist? She looks like my Aunt Minny.

    Ramona (thinking, not speaking): That waiter is too juicy. But Thesterflux—jeepers, is that his real name?—is likely rich. Sex or money?

    Arizona (throwing caution to the wind as she sees most of her paintings have a red dot on them, signaling a purchase. She raises her considerable voice, her face, and both arms): Can I hear a halleluiah! Yes lord!

    And everyone looks away and takes a drink of their champagne–a good place to hide when no one wants to have anyone else know what they are thinking.

  7. That’s what creative writing is about!

  8. What a fun exercise! Really enjoyed reading these~ Suzy

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