Our theme for the month of October was selected by readers and is a format challenge: write a post completely in dialogue.

[Russ’ restaurant—Friday afternoon]

Charles: Folks growing older, like me, have a lot of fear, and I think it drives a lot of what we do. Yeah.

Me: What are you afraid of?

Charles: Oh, so many things. [pause] We’re afraid we don’t have anything to offer society, or the church. We’re afraid that we don’t understand the younger generation, and that they don’t care about us. We’re afraid we might not have enough time for what we feel we have left to do. We’re afraid of falling, breaking a hip, and beginning a slow decline. We’re afraid of…

Random man [approaching our booth]: Hey, don’t I know you? What’s your name?

Charles: Charles Smith. And yes, I think we’ve met before. I know your brother Robert well.

Random man: Oh yes, okay, that must be it. Yes. Well, let me tell you something––

Russ’ manager [after beelining for our booth]: Listen, you need to stop bothering other tables! You need to leave! You’ve been here for five hours and haven’t done a thing but bother other customers. Pay for your food and leave!


Russ’ manager: Okay, that’s ENOUGH! Leave now.

Random man: Fine! But you’re not getting my money and I’m finishing my food!

Russ’ manager: I don’t care about your money. Leave this restaurant now!

Random man: You need to stop bothering ME!

Russ’ manager [to Charles]: Hi Charles.

Charles [completely bewildered]: Um, hello.

Me: You two know each other?

Russ’ manager: It’s me, Keith. Keith Johnson.

Random man: I’m not paying a CENT!

Charles: Keith, yes! How are you? I remember when you were adopted, I went to court to convince them that your parents weren’t communists. So they could adopt you.

Keith: Ha! Yeah, they’ve told me that one. Thanks.

Random man: Not. A. CENT!

Charles: My pleasure.

Keith [to random man]: I don’t care if you pay, just leave! NOW.

Random man: I’m not leaving until I FINISH my FOOD!

Keith: No, you’re leaving NOW!

Random man: You can’t tell me what to do! I’M DONALD TRUMP AND YOU’RE FIRED! YOU’RE FIRED! YOU’RE FIRED! YOU’RE FIRED!

Keith: Listen here now––


[random man storms back to his table, sits down, aggressively bites an onion ring. Keith stares, then walks off in disgust]


Charles [to me]: We’re also afraid of, well, our mind…slipping. Yeah.

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