DARREN: My favorite kind of music is trust-fund punk.
KARREN: My favorite kind of tunnel is carpal. My favorite academic trend is the linguistic turn
DARREN: like in the 80s?
KARREN: yeah. I felt so good when scholarship took a linguistic turn
DARREN: One time you told me that you thought my blog was really well proofread
KARREN: it is!
DARREN: But I only thought, Ouch! faint praise!
KARREN: what’s faint about well proofed?
DARREN: i want it to be blazing and arresting, not clean
DARREN: who will run the frog hospital?
KARREN: who will boost our followers?
DARREN: Steve Roeggenbuck will run the frog hospital
KARREN: we can’t name our son Ben Smith because he won’t be googleable
DARREN: I didn’t study search-engine optimization in college to help inform what we’re gonna name our son. anyway i thought we were gonna name him derrick?
KARREN: like oil derrick?
DARREN: Like derek jeter?
KARREN: you’re embarrassing me. Have we gotten everything on our list?
DARREN: we still need salt-breath
[they turn down aisle 9, where the salt-breath is stocked]
DARREN: here’s the salt breath
KARREN [selecting a less-expensive brand]: let’s get this kind. that kind is eleven dollars!
DARREN: OK. I like this brand tho
KARREN: 11 dollars!
DARREN: OK, get the cheaper kind, but it’s not as salty. Or as breathy. It tastes like evaporated seaweed milk
KARREN: kan we talk about theater and radio and improvisation and the experience of reading plays or reading radio drama scripts
DARREN: darling i’d prefer not to in the supermarket. can it wait till we get home?
KARREN: I dunno. did you hear annie baker on WTF?
DARREN: yes. a fine reminder that self-deprecation can sound 100 times more self-involved than self-aggrandizement
KARREN: or you mean that self-deprecation can just be another form of self-aggrandizement
DARREN: that’s a finer way to put it
KARREN: do we like these Deep Noodles?
DARREN: I’ve never tried them
[tosses the Deep Noodles with nonchalance into the brimming cart]
[a loud trust-fund punk song begins playing on the supermarket stereo]
KARREN: but Baker was sharp and charming in that interview
DARREN: i know. it was just when they were talking about the Pulitzer that it bummed me out
KARREN: what if I’m more interested in writing dialogue that’s read on the page than I am writing something that’ll be performed?
DARREN: watching tv or film, the only time i’m conscious of the writing is after the fact. i only think “that was well written” once it’s over. as opposed to obviously reading a novel or a poem where every sentence is another opportunity to evaluate — and consciously appreciate — the writing
KARREN: sure because the writing is submerged in film or tv or theater — you have so much else to evaluate first — the performance, the images, the sound
DARREN: why don’t more people publish novels in dialogue?
KARREN: Because they have to feed their families.
[Throws a vegan suckling pig shrink-wrapped in hot-pink plastic into the cart, which buckles and implodes]