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

“The lifts in this station are a bit strange. It’s says 0, but we’re actually four levels underground right now. We’ll take this up to level 2, where we’ll enter a different lift, which will have us at level -2, and we’ll take that one up to 0.”

“We’re going from 0 to 0.”

“Life is a circle. You aren’t going to church are you?”

“I am actually.”

“We’ll go together then. Follow me to the bus. I wasn’t going for a while, but have been for the past four weeks. Had to take care of some mental illness for a spell and well my wife has not been terribly fond of the English since we lived in London so that complicates things with the Anglicans. Oh let’s see if we can catch one of the 175s. They don’t come very often but when they do they drop you off right in front of the door. So where are you from?”

“Chicago, but I’ve been living in Germany for the past three years.”

“The expat life. I’ve been in Barcelona for nineteen years. My wife wanted to come back home after we graduated from university and I’ve been here ever since. I gave English lessons for a while, tutored some older locals who wanted to stay up on their English. Ah, here comes the 78, guess we’ll have to take that then. Anyways I’ve been lecturing at the University for the past couple of years and do some translation work on the side but my contract’s about to run out.”

“Well it seems like a great city. I’ve only been here for two days, but the architecture is incredible.”

“Sorry. I think we’ve missed our bus stop.”

“Really? I thought—“

“Wait, are we on the 64? Sorry, then we may still be correct. That’s right. We’ll just get off at the next one and then walk up the hill. Shouldn’t be a problem. We have time. That’s actually an interesting building there. We’ll walk by it again on our way up the church.”

“Are those Catalan independence protestors?”

“Perhaps. Yes let’s get off here. So I took my wife to the theatre last night. Ya know it’s nice to get out every once and a while and, you know, not watch the telly. We went to this community theatre. It was actually quite nice, four euros a ticket, and they actually did something interesting. They started with this whole prologue about how nowadays we’ve all become so obsessed with our screens and with our apps that we don’t really speak to each other and that we don’t share experiences with each other, like the theatre I suppose. Then they showed us a three-minute film. I’m not sure if that bit was supposed to be ironic or if it was just part of the show, but yes and well the show was actually written by a former neighbor of mine. He and I didn’t always get on. In fact we had a disagreement about a decade back about whether or not they could install a lift in our apartment complex. My wife and I took it to court and well we ended up losing and as I said we each had a bout with mental illness afterwards because it can all be quite…”

“I imagine that can be quite disorienting.”

“Yes, disorienting would be the … I guess you could say le mot juste …”

“Yes, I guess it’s an appropriate word.”

“Anyways this whole show was about a man who was disgruntled with his English neighbor. At one point the actor did a bit about how the English think the world belongs to them and well it only occurred to me in the middle of the production that my experience with my neighbor might have served as his inspiration in writing the piece. And then of course you wonder if taking your wife to this show as the right thing to do, or if maybe you would have been better off going to dinner and having a conversation, even a monologue, as I suppose this has become.”

“Oh no, it’s fine. It’s interesting.”

“Well yes. The church is right around the corner. How long are you staying in Barcelona?”

“Until Thursday.”

“Right. Then here we are. They’ll be starting any minute now. The Anglicans do like to follow an agenda.”

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