(Chris Note: The below was basically a writing exercise for me. I’ve never been very comfortable with writing dialogue and so was trying to write something that was purely dialogue, even deciding to intentionally ape a kind of Aaron Sorkin or David Mamet vibe.)
Reporter: Thank you for meeting with me today.
Prisoner: Not much choice, so whatever.
Reporter: Well I appreciate…
Prisoner: What do you want…
Reporter: Well I..
Reporter: I mean I have to…
Prisoner: What do you have to do?
Reporter: I have to ask first off…
Reporter: Did you do it?
Prisoner: Sure, I get that you have to ask that. Not “sure” I did it.
Reporter: Oh, because for a second there…
Prisoner: For a second there you thought that after all this time you were going to be the one to finally get me to unburden my soul and…
Reporter: So you still maintain you didn’t…
Prisoner: No, I did not do it.
Reporter: You’re going to die tomorrow.
Prisoner: I’m aware, thanks.
Reporter: Have you been thinking about that?
Prisoner: Well there’s not much else to do here other than think, so yes, it’s crossed my mind.
Reporter: And are you at peace with that?
Prisoner: No, I most decidedly am not at peace with that.
Reporter: Do you wish…
Prisoner: I wish a lot of things.
Reporter: I mean do you wish you’d been able to convince people you didn’t do it?
Prisoner: Obviously. If I had, I wouldn’t be here.
Reporter: Would there be any satisfaction if most people believed it, even if the jury had come to the same decision?
Reporter: Why not? It would have…
Prisoner: Meant nothing. Nothing.
Reporter: At least then you could have taken some satisfaction in…
Prisoner: Satisfaction? Let me be clear here: There’s nothing to feel satisfied about. Being convicted of murder, even if a million people believe I didn’t do it, lends itself to a distinct lack of satisfaction. I am here, where I should not be, and that brings with it nothing but consternation, disappointment and resentfulness. This should not have happened because I didn’t do anything.
Reporter: OK, let me ask a different question.
Prisoner: We’re done here.
Reporter: No, please.
Reporter: Just one more question, then we can be done.
Reporter: The afterlife…what do you think is waiting for you after tomorrow?
Prisoner: Oh come on..
Reporter: No, this is a legitimate question. Tell me to go to hell if you want, but I’d also like an answer.
Prisoner: An answer…
Prisoner: OK, you want an answer? I believe I’m going to meet my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I think I’m going to get up to the pearly gates or whatever it is that’s waiting for me and He will be there and say he’s sorry about what happened. He’s going to greet me and say this should not have happened, that He knows the truth and knows I’m innocent and that the people who did this to me have my blood on their hands.
Reporter: I didn’t expect that kind of answer. Nothing you’ve said in the past has sounded very religious.
Prisoner: It’s none of people’s business.
Reporter: So what kind of evangelical…
Prisoner: No. Lutheran.
Reporter: Lutheran? Really?
Prisoner: Why is that surprising?
Reporter: Well that’s very specific and so many people I talk to aren’t interested in denominations.
Prisoner: Look, you asked.
Prisoner: If you want to question the answer or find fault with it..
Reporter: No, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that.
Prisoner: You mean you don’t expect a killer like me to be religious.
Reporter: Of course.
Prisoner: Is that it?
Reporter: Is there anything else you’d like to say.
Prisoner: I’ve said everything I need to say about this for several lifetimes.
Reporter: Odd choice of phrase for a moment like this.
Prisoner: Not unintentional.
Reporter: Well thank you for the time.
Reporter: I’d tell you when you’d read this, but…
Reporter: If it’s any consolation…
Prisoner: It’s not.