(image courtesy Orrin Otherworlds)

They’re on the elevator on the third floor, trying to get to the basement. He pushes the button for the lobby, realizes his mistake, and hits the basement button.  Only the lobby button lights up.

She says, “That’s the wrong button.”

“I can see that,” he says, stabbing the “B” repeatedly.  

“I’m just saying.”

“Can’t you see that I see I made a mistake?”

 “I just didn’t know if you knew it.”

“You don’t have to rub it in.”

“I wasn’t trying to chastise you, I’m just trying to get out of here.”

“Oh come on. You’re not my mother.  Don’t micromanage me.”  She keeps her eyes on the door and doesn’t say a word. “You know, if you pushed the wrong button and I said something about it, you’d be so mad.”

“Whatever you say.”

“You’d call me a dick if I did that.”

“You’re putting words in my mouth, you know. You’re making this up.”

“You’d call me an asshole.” He stabs the button to punctuate each syllable: “Mo-ther-fuck-ing ass-hole.”



About Anna Fonté

Girl in the Hat, aka Anna Fonté, is an author who writes about invisibility, outsider status, everyday monsters, and her attempts to befriend the neighborhood crows. The things she writes want you to look at them.


  1. Only my Luigi would leave out the part about his mom breathing down his neck. Otherwise verbatim.

    Do you like to write dialogue? I love it.. I’ve been told I do it well and also that I do it too much.

  2. Hi Virginia–
    I do like it, but I find that it tends to take over. In some of my chapters, the dialogue just muscles in and takes over. I wonder why dialogue is so overpowering. Maybe because of how it’s paginated– easier to read? Or maybe because it has the immediacy of a needle in the arm.

  3. I’ve been in conversations like this, different subjects, but still the same. And I think I’ve been on both sides, only witnessing the stabs. (I’m more of an arm crosser.) You got it sooo right.

  4. TheOthers1

    I probably wouldn’t have said anything. But that’s just how I am.

  5. Strong and silent is always a good move.

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