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Rated: E · Short Story · Psychology · #2228248
Dialogue 500 entry concerning a discussion of a patient with his doctors in an asylum
So what brings you to this little hospital today?

They say I’m hearing voices, and talking to them too.

Only one voice? Then it's a dialogue, two voices and you’re crazy.

What if I am talking to myself?

Still a dialogue, an internal one, perfectly normal.

So why am I here?

Well, if the voices are…

Voice, only one.

…okay, if the voice is telling you to harm yourself or someone else then that can be a problem.

No, nothing like that. It's just a discussion about grammar.

Could you explain?

When you’re talking verbally there's no need for proper punctuation or even grammar. Sure, people gesture and use their voice to add meaning to the words which can be translated to punctuation in its written form. But when you’re talking you’re not thinking: comma or semicolon, where does that apostrophe go, or is this is the end of sentence, therefore deserving a period? Actual physical writing involves so many rules. And don’t get me started with people writing in dialect, gives me a headache!

Do you have a problem following the rules?

Sometimes they’re a hassle, getting in the way of the flow of a good idea, but I know rules are there for a reason. They help keep everyone on the same page, so to speak. No descriptions of the actions in a dialogue. A story has to have characters and a plot. Capitalization. And spelling, ugh, I hate spelling.

Communication has always been a challenge for we human beings. Maybe that’s why you’re talking to yourself? It’s easier to understand yourself than someone else?

That would be true if the voice in my head was my own, we would have the same background, expectations and such. No conceivable way to miscommunicate it would seem. But how do I know if the voice is part of me or not?

I guess if the voice knew something that only you could know it would be part of you.

Or omniscient.

Right. Tricky problem. Maybe if we worked it from the other angle, the voice is outside of you?

Then other people should be able to hear it? But what if it’s someone else speaking to me telepathically? No one else would hear that, and how would I know the difference?

Let’s just calm down. Maybe it doesn’t matter, if the voice is helpful. As long as we continue to follow the rules it shouldn’t matter to anyone else.

Yeah, that sounds good.


Good morning Mr. Wilson, how are you this morning? It seems people were a bit concerned about you arguing with yourself, hmm, quite loudly too.

Hi Doc. It's all right. I was just having an internal dialogue with myself. I promise to not include the part where you flipped through your chart to find my name and I will absolutely follow all the rules from now on, even spelling!

This is going to be an interesting conversation.

No Doc, it’s an external dialogue! There's a difference!
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