A: He told me that he didn’t read any women writers.
B: You should have punched him in the face.*
A: But then I saw him reading Colette, and I was like, “What, so you read women writers in translation?”

* I need a new putdown.

dialogue, film

he must have been a happy man

Last night, we watched Sergio Leone’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST. The midsummer Maryland humidity watched the movie with us, and we sat in silence, too hot to laugh, sweating into the couches while the men on the screen sweated into their cowboy hats.

CHEYENNE: You know, Jill, you remind me of my mother.
(Pause. Stare.)
She was the biggest whore in Alameda, and the finest woman that ever lived. Whoever my father was, for an hour or for a month, he must have been a happy man.

dialogue, quotes

it’s not even the pleasures of the flesh I’m talking about

I am reading more Philip Roth today: here is an excerpt from a fight about contraceptive devices.

She walked over to me, leaving white footprints on the grass. “I didn’t think you were such a creature of the flesh,” she said.

“Didn’t you?” I said. “I’ll tell you something that you ought to know. It’s not even the pleasures of the flesh I’m talking about.”

“Then, frankly, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Why you’re even bothering. Isn’t what we use sufficient?”

“I”m bothering just because I want you to go to a doctor and get a diaphragm. That’s all. No explanation. Just do it. Do it because I asked you to.”

“You’re not being reasonable – ”

“Goddamit, Brenda!”

“Goddamit yourself!” she said and went up into the house.


chicago, dialogue

the wheels on the bus

The 70 Division eastbound from Ashland to North Branch.

GIRL: Dude, you just, like, jabbed your elbow into my gut.
MAN: Sorry.
MAN: You want to go out with me? I have a phone.
MAN: I can call you.
MAN: I’m only 61.
GIRL: I’m 16!
MAN: That’s, like, 61 reversed.
A seat opens up and GIRL moves to sit down.
MAN: Don’t leave me!
MAN’S SEATMATE, A WOMAN OF FEW BUT APT WORDS: She thought you were a dirty old man.
MAN: Yeah.
MSAWOFBAW: Ha, ha, ha.
MAN: Yeah, all right.

chicago, dialogue, metablog

no action

Friday night at La Pasadita, one of three of the La Pasadita taquerias in the block south of Ashland and Division. B and her friend C are eating carne asada Super Tacos.

A: Where did you ladies get that beer?
C: Around the corner.
A: Around that corner there?
C: Yep.
B: There’s a giant arrow sign pointing to it. You can’t miss it.
A: We appreciate it.

In rereading a portion of this blog yesterday, I decided that the parts I like reading the best are:
1) the observations about writing, which I’m getting better about doing regularly
2) the dialogue excerpts, which there aren’t enough of. I’m going to create a new category.

I will try to have dialogue even when, as is typical in my plays, there is no action. Maybe by writing a little bit of dialogue regularly in the blog I will find more action in the sound of people’s words.

chicago, dialogue

that’s what I’m talking about

The 52 Kedzie/California bus south at 7 AM on a Friday morning after a Bulls OT victory against the Celtics, in which Ray Allen scored enough 3-pointers to become part of the times table.

Ray Allen. I’m telling you, that Ray Allen – watch out! Ray Allen, Ray Allen, Ray Allen.
Ray Allen, Ray Allen.
Ray Allen!

That’s what I’m talking about!

Ray Allen. I mean – come on!

Ray Allen!