Per Milch's instructions I set out to write another two-person dialogue scene. No description, no names, and no thinking about it beforehand, those are the rules. 20-50 minutes may be spent on the thing. The objective is to find the 'true categories of one's imagination' (by resisting the performative imperative and the urge to 'play to one's [supposed] strengths' - about which we actually know nothing, in Milch's view) and develop the ability to 'go out in spirit' to two characters. No fear of banality, and no intention of sharing the work with anyone.
I had no such intention. But I was pleased with the outcome of this scene, partly because of its less-than-usually cynical attitude toward the possibility of sustainable love. The setting and pretense should be fairly clear. It took most of the 50 minutes, just so you know. I can't vouch for its quality; I hope the voices are distinct and recognizably human. This is Wally's shattered ego, exhaling a little bit and pushing the raft out to sea.
[You can get by with skipping this one too. Just so you know.]
1: Apparently he works at a real estate office a block away.
2: Huh. Small world.
1: He's married, you know. Girl from college.
2: Good for him.
1: No kidding, he showed me a picture of his wife. You're not wearing a ring yourself, are you -
2: Very single actually. As of a couple weeks ago.
1: Aah. Should I offer condolences, or...
2: No, it's good.
1: Good, then.
2: You neither, it looks like -
1: Oh I lost mine.
2: Congratulations. But also very bad, right?
1: Bad is one word for it, yes. Luckily I haven't been found out yet. I just hope there's time to get a new one made, or find the old one.
2: Or else -
1: Goodbye balls.
2: Goodbye balls! We ought to drink.
1: I will not argue.
2: Two of these please.
1: Mine with a lime.
1: Well it's a reunion.
2: It is that.
1: It is that. Tell me, if you don't mind, what happened? The breakup. I mean it's just a conversation starter. We can talk about baseball if you want.
2: No that's alright. Uh, the usual, I guess. Met a nice girl, went out a few times, and then came the sharing of interests and friends.
1: Which was difficult?
2: Not difficult enough.
1: So what was the hard part?
2: Keeping any of my own.
1: Condolences for that, in any case.
2: Thank you. I mean we went round and round for a while trying to be more social together, or - she's big into art galleries and theatre and whatnot, she has these friends - this whole other world from what I'm used to. And that was fine for a while, I didn't hate it, it's just - but we ended up burning out. I mean it's a lot of work.
1: It certainly is, sir.
2: I think I'm not made for a life in the theatre.
1: You're not the first.
2: That makes me sound like a total shitheel, doesn't it.
1: No no, it's understandable. My wife and I had a hard time last year, similar problem. We both developed this feeling we were growing apart, I don't know what prompted it. Maybe we saw a film or something.
2: But you weren't really.
1: Right. You're married to someone, you're a pretty big part of each other's lives already. Oddly enough that's one commonly accepted definition of the word 'marriage.'
2: It's so easy to get psyched out, y'know. And you guys are alright now.
1: Oh we're great now, no question. This commemorative jewelry problem notwithstanding.
2: So what was wrong?
1: You don't stay with someone because they're interesting, or they like Neat Things. We're right for each other. With each other. As we are. I don't want to live her life -
2: You want her.
1: Exactly. I want her to live her life, and for us to live ours.
2: I don't think my ex-girlfriend actually wanted that.
1: Who called it off?
2: We both did. In a manner of speaking. It wasn't too bad.
1: We should drink again. I'm glad you're not a baseball fan.
2: Wny's that?
1: We'd still be talking about the Sox instead of dissecting our ill-starred love lives.
2: I am a baseball fan.
1: Then we can talk about the Sox on the way out into the rain.
2: Seems strangely appropriate.
1: Useless bastards.