inner dialogue

“psst. psst.       psssssssssst!               hello? hello?   hello! look, i’m talking to you!”

“i am quite aware of the fact, thank you.”

“well, then why didn’t you answer?”

“maybe i was thinking.”

“pssh, that doesn’t give you the right to ignore people. you could at least acknowledge i’m here!”

“i thought that fact was understood. your presence is unavoidably obvious. everyone knows you’re here.”

“but maybe i didn’t know you knew.”

“please, not so loud.”

“why, what are you thinking about? what’s so terribly, terribly important that you have to have total silence in order to think and furrow your brow and give yourself wrinkles?”

“i was wondering why you were sitting on my couch.”

“… because it’s a good place to sit? what kind of a wondering is that? why, am i getting it dirty? i could sit on the floor or something. i’ll have to look up to talk to you, though …”

“no, no, it’s not that. i don’t mean in that manner of speaking. i meant — why are you here? how did you get here? what are you doing here sitting on my couch?”

“you know why i’m here —‘

“do i?”

“well i should hope so. half of this was your idea. i came in a car. i’m sitting down because it’s been a long day and my legs are tired. happy now?”

“but which half of this was my idea, and what is the idea that is your half?”


“don’t give me that face. you can’t be half as innocent as you look. you couldn’t be nearly so harmless. no, you must have an ulterior motive. now be quiet so i can figure out what it is.”

“what, are you crazy? i don’t have an ulterior bone in my body. i’m as innocent as the morning dew. i’m so harmless i would only hurt a flea. heaven knows i only get my motives from the best places. and who said i was making noise? why are you so worried about noise?”

“you might as well be an elephant that appeared on the sofa one day. i have no idea what you’re doing or how you got here, but you’re impossible to ignore. why don’t you paint yourself bright green so everyone can see you? even if you’re silent, the fact you’re in the room is so loud it drives every other thought out of my brain and i can’t concentrate for the life of me.”

“but what did you think i was here for?”

“that’s the whole point — i don’t know.”

“but i told you.”

“did you? did you?”

“of course i did.”

“but is that what you meant? and what about all this long endless multi-partied conversation? what does it all mean? is it safe to take you at your word, or anybody? does everyone know something i don’t? are you laughing at me behind your eyes because i’m missing the punchline everyone else has finished guffawing over? am i tearing my mind to pieces trying to find out something i’ll never know because there is nothing to know and i’ve just been hearing voices again?”

“how much coffee did you have this morning?”

“what does that have to do with anything?”

“how much sleep did you get last night?”

“why are you ignoring my question?”

“what, exactly, did you ask?”

“haven’t you listened to anything i haven’t said?”

“you were being so quiet that the noise got distracting. besides, i was thinking.”

“what could possibly be so important that you must let your mind wander off and think about it while i’m trying to explain what it is that’s going to make me go stark raving mad someday soon if everything goes on as it has been and someone doesn’t start answering my questions? what? what?”

“i was wondering why you were sitting on my couch.”