Give and Take: Dialogue (Writing101)

I stammered…”ok ok picture this”
“…think of it as a number line…0 is in the middle. To the left of the zero is everything negative. To the right, is everything positive. Now instead of numbers being on the line, there are different degrees of love and hate. Hate is on the negative side…love is on the positive side”
I was really trying to explain myself which is something I don’t do often. I try to let me speak for myself but today it was apparently no use.
She replied back, “ What?!?” with a sarcastic look on her face. That face that says I get it but Im going to let you go on the passionate rant of explaining yourself.
I dug deeper trying to get her to understand…”Im not like you. You’re full of indifference. You often feel no way at all, don’t think anything at all about something. Im not like that”.
That’s when I got her attention more. She felt insulted or slighted in some way. Offending someone seems to be the best way to get their attention.
“The two ideas cannot compare. They aren’t remotely the same. You’re telling me that you are never anywhere in between with how you feel but you give me a number line of variation to describe yourself? That’s crazy” she was beginning to sound condescending.
I was beginning to get flustered.
“Yes, that’s right, maybe I need to sketch this out for you” I said, looking around for something to scribble on. I wanted her to literally get the picture…I wanted her to know how I operate.
“Seriously…hear me out” I said…”…on either side of the 0 there is either love or hate. How far you go in either direction determines how much I love or hate. Still it’s one of the two, not both, and if it happens to be zero, its likely because I haven’t had enough time to form an emotional opinion or I don’t care“ I was really trying to drive the point to her. I hate being misunderstood. So many things are lost in translation when two people didn’t understand each other.
I think she was beginning to get it. That or she had become tired of trying. I spoke again…”That is comparable to you because you can have no emotion or opinion at all about something or someone and I guess what Im trying to say is that I have one. Always. Even if its neutral. And Neutral for me usually means…I don’t care enough or I don’t have time to inquire” I went on, “I can ask you if you’re hungry and you might say you don’t know. How do you not know if you’re hungry or not? I can ask you if you’re a fan of Country Music you’ll say something like ‘Ive never really thought about it, I might’ What is that?”
This is what I loved about her. We can talk about ANYTHING. I am a chronic overthinker. She knows this and she still engages me. Most women are discussing men, babies, and fashion…she and I are debating how we feel about nothing in particular. Classic!
I thought I had won her over and we’d move on to discussing something less tangled. She turned around and said, “ok, ok…so tell me this…put this on your little scale of love and hate…since you ALWAYS know how you feel” She was being a jerk… I anticipated some frog prince comparison that was impossible to choose. We did that. We’d ask one another silly questions like Who would you rather sleep with…Flava Flav or Ol Dirty Bastard? Two equally unattractive guys by our own standards lol but the look on her face said something different. She hit me with it…”How do you feel about Kingston now? Where does he fall on this measuring stick of yours? We haven’t talked about him in a while. Surely he has a Love, Hate, or Neutral placeholder”.
I was expressionless.


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