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"So Terrible. So Awful."

Exercise #58 : "So Terrible. So Awful."

In the women's locker room at her health club, C.M. Mayo overheard this scrap of dialogue:

A: Therepists, what they charge...
B: Horrible. That's why I quit.
A: So terrible.
B: So awful.

She says, "I love the shape of this, the way the women echo the sounds and rhythms of each other's words. Notice the rhyme of 'horrible' and then 'terrible;' the repetition of 'so.' Another interesting aspect is B's interruption of A."

Here's the exercise: take this dialogue; add some names, descriptions, gestures, etc, and flesh out the scene. You might change therapists to "dentists" or, say, "contractors," or "piano teachers" -- what have you.


Anne Marie put one leg up on the wooden bench, reaching down to tie her sneaker. She was just pulling the knot tight when Julia Chase walked out of the bathroom, water dripping from her wet hair. Anne Marie had never seen Julia right after a shower, and she was taken aback for a short moment. The usually flawless woman closely resembled a gaunt, wet dog.

"Anne Marie!" she called with a wide smile full of false affection. "Sweetie! How are you?"

"Hi, Julia," Anne Marie responded with much less enthusiasm. "I'm well. How about yourself?"

"Oh, just duckie, dear," she said. "Wouldn't you know that James's foray into stocks turned out to be a complete success?"

As if that insufferable man needed any more money, Anne Marie thought. James, Julia's husband, was a well-known philanderer among their group of friends, and everyone but Julia had caught on to his ways.

"Oh, that's great, Julia," she forced herself to say. "Good for him." You're husband's an asshole.

"Enough about me, though." Julia sat down on the bench next to Anne Marie's foot. In an attempt to make their conversation more private, she lowered her voice and leaned in close to her. "How are the therapist sessions going?"

It's none of your damn business, you fake little -- "I'm not going anymore," she said.

"Oh? Is this a good thing?"

"I don't know. I just can't afford the rates."

"I know, right? Therapists, what they charge..."

"Horrible. That's why I quit." Leave me alone.

"So terrible." Julia crossed her perfectly sculpted legs and leaned backward, the top of her spine resting against the metal lockers behind her.

"So awful."

5 minutes up.

Actually, the technical 5 minutes ended at "So terrible," but I felt the need to finish... Just for the sheer rush of completion. :)

And with that, I leave you. Time to go work on my recital stuff for a bit. I probably won't get a post of it up until later next week, but I'll get it up here eventually, I promise.



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