2. Conversationally Speaking

“When did you quit playing?”

“I don’t remember. A long time ago.”

“Was there a reason? Something in particular?”

“No.”

“You just stopped?”

“No, I don’t know. I got tired of it defining me.”

“But something will always define you. There are worse things than music-”

“I wasn’t any good.”

“Hm.”

“God. You’re annoying.”

“Hm.”

“What defines you?”

“Lots of things. My writing, my friends. My family.”

“Me?”

“Yes. Even you.”

“Even me?”

“That wasn’t supposed to be offensive.”

“Well, it came out that way. Even me. Like I’m at the bottom of the list.”

“You’re new.”

“Ah. So it’s a seniority thing.”

“If music doesn’t define you, then what does?”

“I don’t know. I don’t feel like I have a definition any more.”

“Everyone has a definition.”

“Then what’s mine?”

“You’re very beautiful.”

“No. I’m not.”

“Yes, you are. And you’re sweet, and kind. Generous.”

“Those are character traits. And I don’t think you’re seeing me clearly.”

“I see you very clearly. Why would you say that?”

“I still say you want something.”

“I do. I want you.”

“That’s nice.”

“But you don’t want me.”

“That didn’t sound like a question. And I didn’t know you were a mind-reader.”

“Tell me why you stopped playing. Seriously.”

“Because people were always asking me to stop. Telling me to stop. Because I didn’t play well.”

“But you do.”

“They didn’t think so. And they had to listen. I don’t like making people uncomfortable.”

“Sometimes people need to be uncomfortable.”

“There’s plenty uncomfortable in life without me adding to it.”

“You’re the opposite of a narcissist. I think if you could figure out a way, you would cease to exist.”

“I’ve tried.”

“To take your own life?”

“You don’t sound surprised.”

“No. It fits.”

“You’re analyzing me. You’re supposed to be being my friend. Or my lover. Which do you want to be?”

“Can’t I be both?”

“I don’t know.  When men get tired of fucking me, they leave. They don’t look back.”

“I can’t imagine getting tired of fucking you.”

“You will.”

“Play for me.”

“…”

“Please?”

“No. I’m sorry. I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“I just can’t. I don’t want to. Isn’t that enough?”

“Nope.”

“Well. It’ll have to be. Or you can go.”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

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