An Internal Dialogue

“So… Can I write about past relationships?”

You instantly scoff. “About ex’s? Are you kidding me?”

“Well, yeah,” I say, shrugging. “I mean, they’re an important part of growing up, right? Relationships that went sour. A lot of people would be able to relate to that.”

“Absolutely not.” You spare me a quick, condescending glance before you start digging around through the silverware drawer. “That’s a bad idea for about a hundred different reasons. What if someone reads it, and knows it’s about them?”

“Who cares if they do? …It was okay to do that about a past friendship. Why not an old romance?”

“Because it’s just not.” You continue to dig through the drawer, unable to find what you’re looking for and getting frustrated.

“It’s on the counter,” I mutter. You find the corkscrew there and grin. “And…okay, whatever. No ex’s. What about…community college?”

“Ha!” You start struggling with the monumental task of opening a bottle of wine. You were never very good at that, and it’s always funny to watch. “No.”

“Why not? I liked community college. I think I learned more there than I did at University.”

“You were a train-wreck during community college,” you point out. The cork is finally wrenched out of the glass bottle with a loud, satisfying ‘pop!’

“I wasn’t a train-wreck,” I argue. “I was an honors student.”

You pour a healthy serving of wine into a glass and hand it over. I accept it, swirling the scarlet liquid around languidly. “A train-wreck,” you reiterate, “…who happened to get good grades.”

“People like to read about train-wrecks. Especially nerdy ones.”

“True,” you admit. “And you were an exceptionally disastrous, nerdy train-wreck.”

I drink to that.

“Yeah… You sure you want to open up that Pandora’s box?”

“…Maybe not. Okay, well…how about…my wedding day?”

“Your wedding day?”

“Sure.” I set the glass down on the table. You look confused. “I had a great wedding. It was a lot of fun.”

You narrow your eyes at me, skeptical as always. “You got super drunk on your wedding day.”

“Of course I did! Everyone did. It was Vegas. It was fun, it was a happy day.”

“And since when do you write about fun, happy things?” you sneer. “You only write about dramatic, scary shit, or angst, and there’s always some twisted tension somewhere in there, too… You are one messed up artist.” You smile knowingly.

I drink to that.

“We both know what you would end up focusing on if you  wrote about that day, and do you really want to do that?”

“…No, not really.” I sigh. “Okay, okay… Well, what the hell do we write about? Are all personal experiences off the table, then?”

“Not necessarily. You just have to write it in the right way.”

“Ah, yes. Through…fiction.” I utter the last word as though it is a prayer, and in a way, it is.

Make-believe. The only religion that ever worked for me. That ever worked for anyone, I muse dryly.

“Indeed,” you murmur, and I can tell you agree with both my verbal declaration and my unspoken thought.

“I can write about anything I like, twisting the scenery and the characters around so that the words are coming from the mouths of people who never existed… Literary microphones. Teaching through fantasy.”

“Truth through lies,” you say quietly. “Honesty through deceit.”

I drink to that.

“…So, what are you going to write about then?” You tilt your head curiously to one side. I’m racking my brains, trying to come up with something.

“I don’t know,” I finally say. “Romance, school, higher education, art…? Through other, made-up people? But…but not too obviously…”

Obviously.

I bite my lip, thinking for a long, long time.

“Fuck it… I’m gonna write some meaningless smut.”

You laugh and refill my glass. “‘Atta girl,” you say, smirking. “The world could always use some more meaningless smut.”

I drink to that.

wine

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9 thoughts on “An Internal Dialogue

      • The downside was going broke when the print magazines tanked. The upside was skill development. Everything you write is on deadline and due an hour before, so no time for writer’s block. I developed a facility for finding the next word that carries right over into my poetry—the words just come out quicker.

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  1. Sadly meaningless smut seems to be the best way to pay the bills these days.

    An entertaining read! Well done and the back-and-forth banter flowed very smoothly.

    Liked by 1 person

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