Meeting of the Minds

365 Days of Two Sisters 21 September 2008“So, I love this part when your date starts calling you fat. That’s probably the best part of the story and I think you should draw that out more.” I am speaking on Skype, so my position is prone and languorous. The pre-rain muggy weather has forced me into a pair of the loosest shorts I own and a T-shirt that was built for spaghetti stains. As M begins to speak, I take the opportunity to cram a few cheese doodles into my throat.

“Yeah, I agree,” she says. “I want to focus on how upset I am here. I want to look more pathetic, but how?” A high-pitched squealing comes from behind her somewhere. “My dogs hear your voice; they are eating their squeak toys again.”

It is good to know that my voice has a dog-whistle effect on canines.

“Oh, I know…were you sweating on the date?”

“Oh yeah; it was in August.”

“OK, from where?”

“My boobs. I always sweat from my boobs.”

“Great! OK, get it in there that you were sweating from your boobs when he called you fat. That’ll make you more pathetic.”

I hear her typing and take the opportunity to finish off the cheese doodles and order the cat to pour me a glass of wine. She does not comply with my request.

M reads her notes in a murmur to herself, and then to me, “I really like the way this is shaping up. Oh yeah, I don’t think I sound like enough of a loser in the contrast between me and my dating profile.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll take care of that!” I say, “Let’s take a look.” We are quiet as we both review her dating profile in the story and ponder ideas. Then it hits me.

“Have you ever let someone poop on you?”

Conversations with M always make me think of meetings between famous writers over the last hundred. James Joyce and Marcel Proust evidently had nothing to say to each other, as neither had read any of the other’s work. Ernest Hemingway met J.D Salinger and even read one of his stories during the Second World War. Hemingway reportedly exclaimed, “Wow, we have a hell of a talent here!” Then, though unreported, he surely went to his bunker, got tight on absinthe, put on a prom dress and cried himself to sleep. Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin had one of the most famous relationships in literary history, gooey with lust and penmanship.

In no way, shape or form am I suggesting that our meeting is comparable to that of a meeting between famous writers. For one thing, neither M nor I are famous. We don’t own a bunker and Hemingway probably didn’t gorge on cheese doodles. Furthermore, while I am sure that M has a prom dress somewhere that she puts on to drink mission burgundy, I don’t own one. Anymore.

The above conversation occurred earlier this evening and, ridiculous though it may appear, was very successful. In the scheme of things, M seems to be my writing soul-mate; our deranged incantations on each other’s work have thus far been effective. I have edited essays of hers that were published on and Mental Floss. She edited my novel and an essay that was published on We have a mutual insight on each other’s work, gist and style that enables advice that would otherwise be lost.

That being said, it is often less than dignified.

“Let’s talk about your story,” M says. “I like this part here, when you ask the girl to kiss you, it is so pathetic. It’s perfect. I think you should hit us with three or four quick scenes as pathetic as that one.”

“Yeah, I like that line too,” I say. “Was it funny enough?”

“Oh my God, I was laughing so hard at how pathetic it was. It was great!”

“OK,” it’s my turn to jot notes and mumble to myself. “Hmm…more pathetic scenes to bolster main…uh, patheticness.”

“I love this story. I wish I was as pathetic as you,” M says this with true, genuine envy. And I respond in like.

“You don’t need to be as pathetic as me, you’ve got sweaty boobs.”

“True.” We hang up a few minutes later and get back to work.

Maybe one day people will speak of this meeting, without the prom dresses of course.

  1. #1 by Chris on June 28, 2012 - 3:33 pm

    I’ll take boobs any way I can get them.

    PS… The little cryptic messake I have to type in at the bottom of the page is getting more and more difficult.

  2. #2 by Andy on June 29, 2012 - 5:42 pm

    I would love to see the thought bubbles during the period where your mind went from “dating profile” to “poo-ing on someone’s chest”.

    (Yes, I said “poo”)

    I also agree with Chris; your site’s Captcha is brutal.

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