Another exercise from my Beginning Writer’s Workshop class. We choose an item to have a dialog with.
Dialog with a Civil War Rifle
Me: You’re looking well used.
Rifle: I was used well.
Me: I meant that you’re in good condition, but you look experienced.
Rifle: What does that mean? I know for you, I’m old, but I have been well taken care of.
Me: How old are you?
Rifle: I became in 1862.
Me: So, are you one of those famous Springfield muskets that I’ve heard about.
Rifle: No, I’m an Enfield rifled musket. I was made in England and I was carried by many Southern soldiers in the Civil War.
Me: Did you participate in many battles?
Rifle: I was used long and hard at the battle of Gettysburg. I was fired many times on all three days of the battle. I was there longer than all of the soldiers that used me.
Me: More than one soldier used you? That must have been very hard on you.
Rifle: I have no feelings. I am a rifle. I am used only to kill, that is my only purpose. It does not matter to me whether I am used by Rebel soldiers or by Union soldiers. My purpose is to be used.
Me: That seems so cold.
Rifle: I am cold iron, I have no heart.
Me: You mentioned being used on all three days of the Gettysburg fight, tell me more.
Rifle: I started off with Gen. Heth’s division of A.P. Hills third Corps, they fought against Union cavalry and against the Iron Brigade of the first division, first Corps of the Army of the Potomac.
Me: You seem to have a very good memory.
Rifle: I have no memory, I told you I am made of wood and cold iron.
Me: How then can you tell me who used you and who you were used against?
Rifle: I just am. All that is and has been around me is part of me. I am timeless, I am all of time. I am current, I am past and I am the future.
Me: What can you tell me of the future?
Rifle: I can tell you nothing of the future.
Me: But you said you are of the future.
Rifle: And the past and the present.
Me: Then why can you not tell me of the future.
Rifle: You are not in the future.
Me: I’m going to die?
Rifle: You are your past and your present.
Me: But I have no future?
Rifle: I do not know.
Me: Why won’t you tell me?
Rifle: I have nothing to tell you, I just know what I am.
Me: But what about me? What is my future?
Rifle: I do not know about your future.
Me: You can tell me about your past but not your future?
Rifle: Yes, my future is mine but does not exist at your present.
Me: But you know your future at this time, here and now?
Rifle: It is what I am.
Me: And you can tell me your past even though I was not present at that time.
Rifle: Because it exists at this time for you.
Me: Does my future exist for me now?
Rifle: You are an existence of the now, you only exist now.
Me: You exist now also, I see you and I’m communicating with you.
Rifle: I have no now, I am timeless, I exist at all times, except when I don’t. More I cannot tell you, we are different entities of existence.