The Ten Canarsie Dialogues

-these dialogues were passed mouth to ear in the Brooklyn of my childhood.  I have smoothed out some of the language to make them easier to understand by a wider audience.


A: I think there may be things that everyone believes but nobody wants to say.

B:Say them.


A:How do we know if love is right?

B:How do we know if right is right?


A:I forgot what I was going to say but I was still there wanting to remember; does this prove I am more than my thoughts?

B: Stand clear of the moving platform as trains enter and leave the station.


A: I feel that the depths of my yearning must mean that there is a fulfillment equally deep.

B: That’s the shallowest thing I’ve ever heard.


A: I’m looking at my cat trying to imagine what it is like not to have self-awareness.

B: It’s not returning the favor.


A: Why can we try to look at the edge of the visual field but not have a similar quest when it comes to smell?

B: P.U.!


A: Will there be a time when I’m not afraid people will hurt me?

B: Come here, honey!


A: How do I know I exist?

B:Who wants to know?

[This has been attributed to the Columbia pragmatist Sidney Morgenbesser, who presumably heard it on a trip to Canarsie in his youth.]


A:If I were you I would say that too!

The question to which answer 9 is an answer has been lost.


A: How come pain gets all the attention among the unpleasant sensations, leaving itch and nausea in the dust?

B: [The taxonomy of pleasure].


The taxonomy of pleasure is a set of erotic trading cards that has been passed person to person in Brooklyn since at least the 1940s.   The 3 of clubs (Three softball sweeties drinking coca cola) is one of my prized possessions.



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