This post features a dialogue between Justin and Justina, two fictional and similarly-named friends whose dialogues appear regularly in the pages of The New Leaf Journal. In today’s dialogue, Justin and Justina tackle the phrase reach out (and all of its variants, namely reaching out). To be more accurate, Justin will complain about reaching out and demand that the 90s reach out to take its mutilation of the English language back. But what will Justina say? She is always a bit of a wildcard when it comes to Justin’s fixations. I present a debate in dialogue form on reaching out.

Openclipart image of hands reaching for the stars.
Modified version of public domain Openclipart image.

Below, we jump straight into Justin and Justina’s dialogue. Today’s adventure finds them on a walk in Brooklyn. Note that many of the internal links will point you to previous dialogues, which they are wont to reference.

A Dialogue on “Reaching Out”

Justina: It’s cold.
Justin: State of
Justina: Don’t say it.
Justin: Ok, but you know what it is a state of.
Justina: So anyway, I reached out to Jessica.
Justin: Stop!
Justina: Stop what?
Justin: You didn’t reach out.
Justina: How would you know? You weren’t there.
Justin: The only thing that should be reaching out is the 1990s.
Justina: What?

(Justin pulls out his phone and pretends to talk into it.)

Justin: 1990s. Yes. This is Justin from the Toys ‘R Us in Manhattan.
Justina: What are you talking about?
Justin: As if you don’t know, 90s.
Justina: I’m the 90s!?
Justin: I’d like you to reach out to me.
Justina: I don’t want to reach out to you, Toys ‘R Us.
Justin: You left something in the future and you need to take it back.
Justina: Don’t tell me what to do.
Justin: Need you to reach out and take your reaching out.
Justina: Excuse me?
Justin: Return it to the decade whence it came. We don’t need it. But give Toys ‘R Us back.
Justina: Why are you denying my gift to posterity?
Justin: You’re really adapting to being the 90s.
Justina: I’ve known you long enough to realize that this will pass more quickly if I play along.
Justin: Your gift is a curse!
Justina: Reaching out is deep.
Justin: It is stupid. Just say that you asked Jessica something.
Justina: We’re all reaching out in a way, Toys ‘R Us. Reaching out for something we can’t quite grasp. A truth that we all want but cannot define in our modern world.
Justin: …What?
Justina: You cut me off before I could reach out to you about why I reached out to Jessica.
Justin: For good reason.
Justina: I’m going to enlighten you as to why I reached out to Jessica. You will then understand why reaching out deserves your respect.
Justin: I’m listening.
Justina: So I reached out to Jessica because Michael reached out to me to see if I could reach out to Jessica.
Justin: What did he want you to ask Jessica about?
Justina: He wanted me to reach out to Jessica. That is why he reached out to me.
Justin: …
Justina: So I reach out to Jessica, right? “Michael wanted me to reach out to you.” Do you know what Jessica said?
Justin: I have an uncomfortable feeling that my guess would be in the strike zone.
Justina: Jessica reached out after I reached out to her and said that she would have to reach out to Natsume.
Justin: That’s actually slightly worse than I thought.
Justina: So I’m sitting there at work.
Justin: Have we ever established what it is that you do?
Justina: And then Natsume reaches out to me.
Justin: What did she ask you?
Justina: She understood from having been reached out to that Michael had reached out to me.
Justin: Right.
Justina: So she wanted to reach out to me before reaching out to Michael.
Justin: This is painful.
Justina: Don’t you see?
Justin: I do, but don’t start questions with don’t – it’s not nice. I’m sensitive.
Justina: We were all reaching out for something intangible, something we couldn’t grasp.
Justin: You would have grasped it if someone asked a darn question.
Justina: We all had a hole in our hearts, a longing in our chest. We reach out for something more real, something beautiful, in this cold and empty world.
Justin: Stop using social media to make yourself feel bad. That and ask a darn question.
Justina: We may not grasp what we’re reaching out for, but I for one would rather die reaching out than live with my hands by my sides.
Justin: That was almost convincing enough to make me forget what you’re trying to explain away.
Justina: Our generation is one of reachers, Justin. You enjoy your world of gray. We will pass you by as we reach for the stars. Pretty cool, don’t you think?
Justin: I again understand how you never check your mail.
Justina: Not seeing the connection.
Justin: Are you proud of what you’ve done?
Justina: I am. But that’s a secondary concern right now.
Justin: What’s your primary concern?
Justina: I’m genuinely concerned that no one got back to Michael after listening to myself tell you the story. We have a deadline, you know? Now all I can think about is that we may have a problem on Monday.
Justin: It’s as if misusing the English language can result in poor decisions and bad real-world outcomes. Maybe everyone should say what they actually mean. But no, that couldn’t be.
Justina: I know, right? Do you mind if I reach out to Michael for a second to see what’s going on?
Justin: This might be worse than the guy who used pie chart in ordinary conversation.