Category Archives: dialogue


-You want kids?

-I like em enough, yeah. 

-Enough? To what?

-I had this thought, right, to have a few kids. Three or four. Then from the day they’re born I’ll plant them with heavy objects– in shoes maybe, or clothes. Each child an increased number, like the fourth one’s holding the most weight in the day. 

-I don’t see for what. 

-Don’t know. To see. See if the last one’s the most serious or the least. See the way they hold themselves. See if they can tell. 

-So not because you like them, then. Just to see. 

-Wait, though. Then. Then when your kid’s 24, or 30, or 60 even and it’s too much to hear them talk because the world’s too much, things are hard and lonely and they sound too weary for how good they are, this is what I want: I come in, I take the weights out, see? I sneak into windows or rooms and take out every weight I’ve ever put in shoes or clothes or watches and they get up the next day and the whole world is lighter, two times or ten. They feel it, and you know it, and you call them on the phone and say you love them and the world’s getting better. And they say “yes, dad, I know” and you buy it because they do.  They will. 

-Take the anchor. 

-Take it. Give them air. 

* * *


-After his stroke Nick’s father used to think he knew Chinese.

-Not the same.

-Right. It’s more offensive.

-Easier managed.

-She’s still alive kid. Still knows who you are. You’ll have to readjust.

-The nurse said that when she accidently spilled her water she told her to fuck off like she’d just answered the phone. The sweetest fuck off she’d ever heard.

-It’s a switch flip. Knocked to tell her to yell when she’s fine and coo when she’s mad.

-Yeah but the volume I know what to do with. It would happen with age anyway. What it is is the way her face twists with normal conversation– she’s telling me about her garden, what to water, the sound levels notches too high and the total rage in her forehead. The shape of her mouth. If I don’t look away I feel like no matter what she’s saying she wants nothing more than to tear out my heart right there. Words completely impartial– lilies, noon– heated from some place of absolute fury. It’s backwards. I have to learn it all again.

-You have to take it. She’s still there.

-I know. I know. Makes fights a little easier. Hard to be angry when she’s telling you everything you’ve done wrong in the voice of nun.

-Sure. Absolutely. And when she says she loves you you never won’t hear it.

* * *


-You hear what he did?

-Hear what?

-The office. What he did to the office.

-No. What.

-There’s three hundred copies of the patient’s diagrams–the ones where they can circle what muscles on their bodies hurt– there’s three hundred copies covering the walls.

-That’s it.

-No, man. Each one he’s written out all our names on the muscles. All our names on the muscles covering the walls. 


-It’s wild. Wild. 

-It’s December?

-Yeah. December.

-Last December he rigged the vending machines to give out pictures of his childhood home, polaroids. On the back of the photo he wrote out how to find a folder on your computer, and when you opened it there was this video, this endless loop of a kid running into his dad’s arms, over and over again, the dad just home from Vietnam or some shit and the kid just keeps leaping into his arms. Only over the kid’s head he’d pasted each of our pictures, all of em different for each computer. If you stood up whatever part of the day you looked over the walls you’d see someone watching this video of some kid that wasn’t him but had his face, now, jumping up into this vet’s arms. Over and over.

* * *


-When I was little I would carry around little baby dolls that I would rename every day and feed and hold. My baby, now, she’s got a new toy and she has to keep it plugged in. My baby stays three feet away from the wall all the time. 

-Mine doesn’t have toys. She doesn’t like things. 

-Oh don’t worry. You know she’s not committed to it. Just a phase, like teething. And my baby? My baby’s got ahold of one of our old phones, with the cords? The spiral ones, beige. And she’s wearing it around like jewelry. Like a necklace. And then every few days or so she calls my mother, bless her soul, calls my dead momma and then puts her on hold. 

* * *