A Conversation

Here is story number five in my 12 stories in 12 months challenge. For this one, the prompt was Rome and the word count was 1,200. To say the prompt left me cold is an understatement. I’ve never been to Rome and I only know the basics of its history and culture. So, I decided to challenge myself a little and just write a 1,200 word conversation, nothing but dialogue. You’ll have to decide how successful I was, and let me know (if you want).

“If you could go anywhere, where would you go?”


“Why Rome?”

“Ever since I first took art history in college, I’ve wanted to see Italy.”

“So, go then.”

“I can’t.”

“You have to.”

“What do you mean I ‘have to’?”

“When was the last time you did anything for yourself that you actually wanted to do?”

“I do stuff all the time.”

“Yeah, you work. You come out for drinks with me because it’s what I want to do. You take care of all of us. It’s never about you.”

“I really can’t go, though.”

“Why not?”

“For starters, I don’t have a passport. Or money. Or time.”

“Screw that.”

“Easier said than done.”

“You can get a passport. Just go to the post office. You make money, and you never spend it on anything.”

“Yes I do. I pay rent and buy food and go out for drinks with you. Not to mention electricity, gas, my cell phone, and internet.”

“And you get vacation time.”

“You know I like to use that around the holidays.”

“Ugh. There’s always excuses. Just do it.”

“Why is it so important to you?”

“Why isn’t it important to you?”

“I’m fine. I don’t need an expensive vacation. And that’s not an answer.”

“It’s important to me because it should be important to you. College was twenty years ago. You’ve been wanting to take this trip for twenty years. You need to do it.”

“You’re exaggerating. I’ve barely thought about it in the last twenty years.”

“That’s because you never think about yourself.”

“But I don’t speak any Italian.”


“I wouldn’t be able to talk to anyone.”

“Screw that. Everyone speaks English.”

“That is kinda true.”

“It’s not ‘kinda’ true, it is true. You can go anywhere in the world and find people who speak English.”

“There’s something wrong with the world if everyone speaks English.”

“Blame the Brits. They conquered everything.”

“Not just them. Americans have done plenty, too.”

“It’s good for us, though. Don’t worry about it.”

“But isn’t traveling about immersing yourself in another culture?”

“That’s not how most people travel. Most people just want to see things and say they’ve been places.”

“That’s not how I like to travel. Not that I’ve ever traveled.”


“Nope. I grew up here and never left. I’ve never even been to New York and that’s just a couple hours down fifteen.”

“You’ve never been to New York? Literally? Never?”


“Pay the check. We’re going now.”

“No, we’re not.”

“Like you said, it’s just a couple hours away.”

“I have to work in the morning. So do you. We’re not going.”

“You’re probably right.”

“I’m certainly right.”

“I guess. But we’re going to New York soon. Like this weekend.”

“We’ll see.”

“How have you never been to New York?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never had a reason to go.”

“You don’t need a reason.”

“I know. It just seems like such a hassle. And haven’t you ever met a New Yorker?”

“I can’t argue with that, but it’s not much of a hassle.”

“I hate driving.”

“So take the train.”

“It’s still a hassle. All traveling is. I don’t understand why everyone says they like traveling so much.”

“Because they like traveling?”

“I can’t believe everyone likes traveling. It’s a hassle and it’s expensive. I like home.”

“Don’t you want to see the world?”

“Eh. I wouldn’t complain, I guess. But I don’t have any real desire.”

“You said you want to see Rome.”

“It’s not Rome, exactly. I’d love to see the artwork and the architecture, but I don’t like cities.”

“How on Earth do you know that? You’ve never been to New York. Have you been to other cities?”


“That doesn’t count. Hartford isn’t Rome or New York.”

“It’s not like you’re a world traveler.”

“I’m better than you. I went to Hawaii on my honeymoon. I’ve been to New York and Boston tons of times. I even went to Montreal in high school.”


“Yeah. You didn’t need a passport back then.”

“What did you get out of all these travel experiences?”

“What do you mean?”

“What made them so great?”

“They were fun. I got to see things I don’t normally see. I got to talk to people I don’t normally talk to.”

“That’s it?”

“What more do you want?”

“I don’t know. Something deep. Did it change the way you see the world?”

“Nah. People are people.”

“If that’s true, I should be fine staying here. These people are as good as any other people.”

“Do you act this way all the time or just with me?”

“I think a little of both.”

“It can’t be both.”

“It’s not like I’m lying or anything, but I do like to give you a hard time.”


“What? You’ve been giving me a hard time all night.”

“But that’s my thing. You can’t take my thing.”

“I do what I want.”

“No you don’t.”

“That’s why we’re besties. I can with you.”


“Can you believe it’s been twenty years?”

“We’re not old enough for it to have been twenty years.”

“We are. We’re both still on our first drink.”

“You’re right. There may not even be a second one. I don’t want to wake up with a headache tomorrow. We are old.”

“We’re not that old. I actually like this age. Everything still works, but there’s a lot less pressure.”

“Less pressure? I work so hard to keep up with everything.”

“I no longer care about keeping up. It’s freeing.”

“I see where it would be.”


“I can’t believe you’ve never gone anywhere. What’s the furthest you’ve been?”

“I’ve been to Mystic. Or maybe Sturbridge. I don’t know which is farther.”

“Not even Boston or Newport?”


“That’s crazy. I’ll bet you could become a viral sensation with that. ‘The girl who’s never been anywhere.’”

“I can’t imagine that’s the kind of thing that would go viral.”

“You have to play it up. It could just be videos of you asking silly questions about famous places because you’ve never been to them.”

“I don’t know. Wikipedia is a thing, you know.”

“Then act like you never left here because it’s so amazing here. ‘Our pizza is better than New York’s. Our beignets are better that New Orleans’.’”

“Our pizza probably is. The pizza’s amazing around here. I’ve never had a beignet.”

“How is that possible?”

“I’ve never been to New Orleans.”

“Neither have I. You can get them outside of the city limits.”

“They’re basically donuts, aren’t they?”

“Well, yeah, but fancier and Frenchier.”

“I’m not a big fan of. . .”

“Don’t even say it.”

“Frenchie things.”

“I told you not to say it. Seriously, though, what are you doing this weekend.”

“No real plans. If the weather’s nice, some gardening and taking the dogs out.”

“No you’re not. I’m taking you to New York this weekend.”

“I can’t leave the dogs for a whole weekend.”

“Saturday, then.”

“Will I have fun?”

“I guarantee it.”

“What the heck. Let’s do it.”

“And do you know what we’re going to do on Sunday?”


“We’re finding a travel site and booking your trip to Rome.”

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