3 min read

"Don't get involved"

Diocletian (Diocles): "Oh, look, that looks interesting over there. I should get in touch with that person."

Aloysius: "Don't get involved. Keep your head down."

D: "What? Why?"

A: "It'll be disappointing later when you don't follow up."

D: "I'm not going to follow up? Who says?"

A: "Did you follow up the last time?"

D: "I haven't gotten to it yet."

A: "Well, there's your answer."

D: "It's not much of one."

A: "Beggars can't be choosers. You're the one who wanted an answer."

D: "Anyway, that thing looks interesting and I should get in touch."

A: "But what will you say a month from now?"

D: "I'll think of something."

A: "What if you don't?"

D: "Hmm... then I guess I won't."

A: "What, you won't deny it?"

D: "Sometimes before I haven't."

A: "Come on, you could fight a little. You should say you're creative."

D: "Not about that."

A: "Now you're being depressing. Surely you can think of something to say in a month."

D: "Why should I?"

A: "Ask them if they have herpes."

D: "I am not going to ask them that."

A: "The answer might be interesting!"

D: "I am definitely not going to ask them that."

A: "Now you're shooting down good ideas. Fine."

A: "If they're so interesting, how come you can't think of something to say in a month?"

D: "Well — it's just creativity. I'm not creative enough. Or I just don't know what to ask. You know how it is."

A: "Seeing as I am strictly against talking to people, I don't."

D: "Well — there are things you can't ask."

A: "Why can't you ask them? Is your keyboard broken?"

D: "It would be rude."

A: "What if you ask one of the other things?"

D: "Then the answer would be boring."

A: "Okay, so say something instead of asking."

D: "But I don't know if they'd be interested! It might bore them."

A: "You never know until you try."

D: "See, but I don't like that. And I might be annoying them."

A: "Nobody likes it! It's why I don't talk to people. But anyway you're lousy for it, you can't even help it. You might as well commit to it."

D: "I can so! I went a whole month without saying anything."

A: "How's that working out for you?"

D: "Anyway it might be annoying."

A: "Would you be annoyed?"

D: "Actually, yes. It's happened before."

A: "Often?"

D: "I think you're suggesting it doesn't happen often and for the record I don't appreciate your tone."

A: "I suppose you'll have to live with never knowing what would happen if you said that potentially mildly annoying thing you're not going to say."

D: "I guess I will."

D: "Really it's not about the thing. It's about the principle of the thing. It's about my reputation."

A: "Your reputation? You've got one of those?"

D: "Funny."

A: "I'm serious. When did you hear about it? You must be so excited. Congratulations!"

D: "I won't have you assailing my reputation!"

A: "I suppose you won't anymore. Well done!"

D: "But really, what if people get to talking? I know how people talk. Sometimes I am people!"

A: "That's a problem you've got there."

A: "So what happens if people talk?"

D: "Well I suppose they'll all talk together about how annoying I am."

A: "I see, I see. Grave business. And then what?"

D: "And then... and then... well I guess they'll kick me out is what they'll do."

A: "Out of the village and into the wilderness. That is dangerous."

D: "Well — out of the social circle, none of them can evict me from society..."

A: "Is this an important circle to you?"

D: "Not yet? But I want it to be. Maybe."

A: "And I suppose you can make that happen from a distance."

D: "You're poking fun at me again. I can tell, you know."

A: "I do know that. Sorry."

A: "What if, hypothetically, you tried being slightly annoying?"

D: "Oh, I've tried that."

A: "How'd it go?"

D: "I found it mildly embarassing."

A: "And they kicked you out?"

D: "... No. Not yet."

A: "I suppose they're still in proceedings."

D: "You know, maybe I should say something after all."

A: "Darn it! I told you not to get involved! Didn't you listen?"

D: "Yes, but then you said other things."

A: "Back to the drawing board, then. And forget about should!"