Tuesday, August 16, 2016

From time to time

(Screenshot from Tarkovsky's "Stalker")

"It's been so long since I wrote pure dialogue."

"Then let's get started."

"I—why don't you tell me what it is you want first."

"Me? I want silly things. Romantic things. Things that have nothing to do with the body and everything to do with the space between. I want the moon. And why not the stars? And how about a creek bed at sunrise with a nice topsoil of fog. And maybe—maybe just—a tender phrase, from time to time."

"It's important to want those things. It's important to remember to want those things."

"You'd forgotten?"

"No, but I wanted them only for myself. I trusted only myself with them."

"There's poetry enough in solitude."

"Yes, but hold on."


"No, I mean it—the kids are in the other room, arguing. Hold on."

"I'll go."

"No—don't. Please. Don't leave."

"A tender phrase, from time to time."

"Yes, but—"

"A creek bed laid from skipping stones."


"The stars."

"The stars."

"The moon."

"The moon."

"A thousand eyes alongside."

"A thousand  . . . "

"What is it? Your voice just dropped."

"That's what scares me anymore."

"What? The eyes?"

"I feel—I feel exposed. Especially lately, with all the rejection. I feel so terribly exposed. Which is, in itself, embarrassing. As if people were actually watching me. As if they had anything invested in my success or failure as a writer. It's madness. And yet—"

"I can't hear you. You're mumbling."

"I said—it doesn't come as easy anymore."

"Then open yourself wider."

"How wide?"

"Wider than embarrassment. Deeper than self-consciousness can stomach."

"How—how's this?"


"Okay. I have to go now. The kids—"

"Go on, then. Get out of here."

"Just one more thing."


"Come back?"

"All you have to do is ask."

"Come back."



the walking man said...

Heh heh heh - our common reality called life intrudes so often, in so many ways, that the writing becomes secondary. Then one day after doing it by rote for so long we wake up and look back and see that the passion that once was, is no longer; we struggle with finding words, right words to put to what we no longer feel.

Writing is one of the few things a human can do that does not guarantee that the longer it is done we get better at surfing the now, there is no sure way from journeyman to master.

So what do we do to understand this dialog (which by the by I enjoyed and could see myself in). Adapt. Go with the current place and position and lay it out as nakedly as you have words for--just like you did in this short work Sarah.

*meh* and fie to rejection--what you accept from your being is fine, and what is fine sooner or later others will look to and see fine as well.

Charles Gramlich said...

I always find dialogue tough

Sarah Hina said...

Mark, nothing profound here. Just--thanks.

Maybe I needed to hear that someone was listening. Know your words are deeply felt.

Charles, I love writing it. Something very clarifying there.

Aniket Thakkar said...

Well, I've been telling you to come back, every goddamn chance I get, but apparently my vote doesn't count! *grumph*

Don't listen to me then, listen to my high school English teacher, who once told me (not in these exact words) -

"Teaching is by and large a thankless job. Students by and large think the teachers are stupid or mean, and make fun of us. Parents by and large feel we are inept to handle their kids, and if their kids don't do well, feel we don't know what we are doing. By and large - the job sucks. But every now and then, you get a student who comes up and says things like - 'You inspired me to read more', 'Because of you, I started reading books, and now they are my life,' or 'I would have never turned a writer if it weren't for you'.
Even if that student is one amongst the hundred you weren't able to touch, it makes you feel all your worth and more."

You know what I'm trying to get at, right?

Sarah Hina said...

I believe so, yes. :)

And your teacher was right.

It does matter to me still. Quite a lot, in fact.

*rubs eyes*
*tells my dog I'm okay and to stop looking at me*