Too Much Music: Exploring Communication

Years ago, someone challenged me to write a story just using dialogue.
No labels, no descriptions, nothing but the spoken words between two characters. As though all but one of the senses were shut down, and even that one was filtered with extreme prejudice.

It was a challenge. It took a bit of effort. But it also helped me develop as a writer, opened my eyes to thinking about communication in a completely different way.

And these days, instead of just "people-watching" as some writers are prone to do, I close my eyes and listen. To the flow of conversation. To the nuances of language, word choice, the volume of silence stretching out between them, even. It all speaks.


Here's the piece I wrote. It's far from genius, and I refuse to play with it or edit it. It was an exercise--an interesting one, but nothing more than that.

Unless you take it for an exploration of sexuality, and a study of the ignorance of understanding. Both on the part of the straight individual, and the gay individual as well. Neither, in their way, grasp that aesthetic appreciation is separate from sexual attraction, and the second is convinced that the first is in denial--a subliminal rejection of the first's personal sexual identity.

Too Much Music


“That was probably the worst pickup line I’ve had the horror of overhearing in my entire life.”
 “Fuck you, man. Like you could have done better.”
 “If I wasn’t gay? Yeah.”
 “Okay. That’s what, the third one? I concede defeat to the mighty power of Gay.”
 “How is it you manage to be snarky and witty with me, and not her? ... Are you trying to pick me up, now?”
 “I can pick you up with one arm, Lesky. We both know it.”
 “See? Look, witty banter again. ... And you can pick me up any time you feel the inclination.”
 “Busy your mouth with that straw, would you?”
 “Trying to get me drunk?”
 “Trying to shut you up.”
 “I can think of more interesting things to shove in my mouth, if that’s your only goal.”
 “Lesky! Enough! For the love of... just drink your foofoo and sit there and behave.”
 ...
 “Check out the ass on that guy.”
 “I don’t want to. ... Why did I let you bring me here, anyways?”
 “Because you got sick of me teasing you about all the nicely straight women that hang out at the gay bars. And they’re the only place that plays decent music.”
 “I can’t believe you talked me into this.”
 “I can. Most of the men here have nicer asses than the women.”
 ...
 “Fine. Look, even I can appreciate the cleavage that lady over there has on display.”
 “I’ll say. ... Wait, I didn’t know you liked staring at tits.”
 “You think I torture myself, pointing them out for you all this time?”
 “Oh. ... But you like guys.”
 “How is this difficult for you to grasp? ... It’s as easy as grabbing a handful.”
 “Of what, though?”
 “What’s it matter what you’re grabbing? Flesh is flesh. And like I said--”
 “Yeah, yeah. Most of the men have nicer asses than the women. I remember.”
 “Oh. ... So you think so too, then? ... Is there something you haven’t told me, Bhrett?”
 “I walked into that one.”
 “Like it was a brick wall, and you’re a blind man.”
 “Are you having fun?”
 “I should be asking you that, I’m the one who brought you here. Remember?”
 “Yeah, but you’re the gay guy who’s sitting here not getting any. Keeping me company.”
 “I’m getting some. I’m with the hottest guy in the bar.”
 “Oh, shit. Fuck me sideways--”
 “That sounds like an interesting idea, actually.”
 “You twat. Go run off and leave me be so these women will stop thinking I’m gay.”
 “But it’s fun. And women always want what they can’t have. So if they think you’re totally not available and uninterested, they’ll want you all the more.”
 “And so will every guy in here, too.”
 “Well, that’s a given.”
 “Lesky...”
 “Yes, Bhrett?”
 “You’re annoying me now; you realize that, right?”
 “But of course, dear friend. What else am I here for? So, are you having fun?”
 “I’m sure I’d be having even more fun if my best friend hadn’t subliminally convinced every woman here that I’m gay.”
 “But you’re having fun, aren’t you?”
 “...Yes, Lesky. We always have fun, right?”
 “That we do. Speaking of which, check out the brunette over there in the white tank top.”
 “Oh, shit. You see the size of her nipples?”
 “I’m looking.”
 “Yeah, but I think I’m appreciating them more.”
 “From the looks of it, I’d have to agree with you on that count.”
 “Shut up. That is not what I meant.”
 “Well, then... what does that mean?”
 “Means I’m drunk and horny. Tell me again why I came here with you?”
 “You’ve forgotten already? Okay, let’s see... You enjoy my company, we both enjoy looking at women, and while I openly appreciate men, you still deny it. So it’s all good, all the way around, see?”
 “How is it that you seem so confident in your assessment of my sexual orientation?”
 “Simple. You’re not.”
 “Run that by me again?”
 “In what way?”
 “Lesky. I’m not gay.”
 “And?”
 “I’m pretty sure I’m not bi, either. Women are too fun to look at.”
 “I know. They’re certainly nice to have around.”
 “So why didn’t any of the others come with us this evening?”
 “So you could gawk at the hot man-candy in front of Aimee and Caitlin? I wouldn’t do such a thing to you.”
 “I’m not gawking.”
 “That guy can dance, huh.”
 “Yes, I noticed.”
 “So did I.”
 Not like that, Lesky.”
 “If you say so.”
 “I do say so.”
 “Yes, Bhrett.”
 “Stop sounding like a heckling woman.”
 What? ... I do not sound like a woman. You’re just in denial.”
 “Well, let me stay there a little longer then. Okay?”
 “Sure. You wanna go?”
 “Yeah. I think I’ve had my limit for the evening.”
 “Of what -- beer, women, or men?”
 “... Music.”

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