Sunday, January 13, 2008

And All That Lies Between




"Do you hate me now?"

"No."

"Not even a little bit?"

"Not even."

"I don't believe you."

"Too bad."



"So you love me without reservation then?"

"Generally speaking, and without reservation."

"Okay . . . I believe you."

"Uh huh."



"And so you definitely, definitely don't hate me?"

"Jesus!"



"I mean, I'm so relieved."

"Hmph."



"Cause you know I was sort of ri--"

"YesIhateyou!"




"Generally speaking?"

"Generally and specifically and all that lies between."




"So this little detail . . . you hate . . . this?"




"It's not entirely loathsome."


"Not entirely. I see. And this point of order . . . right over here?"



"It doesn't make me actually want to puke."


"No puking! Very encouraging. And this . . . this minor feature . . . down over here? How do you feel about this?"


"Well, I . . . well. I think I'd have to get a better understand--oh, to hell with you already!"






"Jude."

"Mm."

"Jude!"

"What?"

"You do love me."

"Didn't I say so, darling?"

"Words mean nothing. It's this."

"This?"



"The space between."



[Reclining Nude, by Matisse]

14 comments:

Abhinav said...

Writers often believe that a good piece of writing must not be lacking in words. This piece refutes that by creating an undeniably pregnant effect in no more words than are absolutely necessary. A very effective experimental piece of writing.

Shameless said...

Ah, the poetry in that conversation! Painful couple-speak! :-)

Beth said...

I'm confused. Is it because I do not like or understand Matisse? I think so.

Aine said...

Ah, a thinker and a feeler. Such realistic dialogue between them.

I love how you altered font size to convey the expression. I could really hear the characters in my head.

jason evans said...

Maybe it's not the space between either.

Maybe it's the directness, the confidence. I get the feeling if these characters were pressed up against each other, the fuel for that attraction would be the dance of particles, of magnetism, north and south poles flipping.

I guess sometimes love can be like quantum theory. It can exist, not exist, and exist in every permutation in between, all at the same time. To some, that's invigorating. To others, hopelessly wandering.

jason evans said...

Philosophizing aside, I agree that you demonstrated how much you can get across with dialog alone! And like Aine said, the font changes really added something.

Ello said...

I loved that! It was funny and touching and the ending was marvelous.

Sarah Hina said...

Abhinav, I think that blogging has been a great education for me in understanding that less is more. I enjoy leaving those conversation gaps that the reader can fill in for himself. Thank you for understanding what I was trying to do here! :)

Seamus, it is a little painful, isn't it? The woman's neediness kind of annoyed me to begin with, but her playfulness and sincerity won out in the end. Thanks for finding it so authentic!

Beth, the Matisse was an afterthought for me. I love his work, and wanted to pick an image that was a little sexy, and that also contained a figure who implied the space between the reader and the story, too. I liked how she's boldly staring out, challenging us.

As far as the vignette goes, I was just trying to do something playful with structure, to demonstrate that what is unsaid (the space between) is often what is most informing to a relationship.

Aine, I'm so glad you said that. I hoped the dialogue would flow nicely and realistically. Thank you for your kind words! :)

Jason, I love that! Your comments are often more enlightening than my story. ;) And you're right: her insecurity switches off in the middle, as he grudgingly cedes control. I think these two enjoy games, they like the "flipping." And love as quantum theory? I think there's a novel in that...

On a personal note, I would find this sort of thing rather exhausting. :)

Thanks so much, Ello. I think my favorite pieces are ones that are playfully romantic, yet still poignant. I'm glad this one achieved that for you. :)

Church Lady said...

You know Sarah, I don't know if this was intentional or not. But in any case, it's brilliant. Matisse is all about patterns. ALl his paintings have something with a pattern. And your dialogue is patterned.
love it!!
:-)

Hotwire said...

i wasn't hooked in to this, but then the finish got me - nice!

Sarah Hina said...

That was totally and COMPLETELY intentional, CL! Yes, I am just that brilliant. ;)

I liked that you made that connection, though. You're right: Matisse paintings are filled with vibrant patterns and associations. Glad you found one here. :)

I'm happy it came around for you, Hotwire. I can see how the vignette could be a little disconcerting and off-putting at first. It's definitely strange to dive into the middle of a couple's private conversation...

Thanks for everyone's comments! :)

Jaye Wells said...

I loved this. As a feeler married to a thinker, I can totally appreciate both sides.

My wrod ver. is "Shmove."

easywriter said...

Awesome Sarah!

Sarah Hina said...

Thanks, Jaye and Ruth!