The two men are on par. David Brooks hopes the topic is over with. Meyer speaks, “rarely do I ever use dashi-dashes” Meyer says. David brooks winced. Meyer is not pleased by this but Meyer does not wince. The contest resumes. Meyer is ahead.
Meyer proceeds, “dashi-dashes is off-putting to the senses of readers” Meyer says. David Brooks interjects, “this topic is over” David Brooks says, “your opinion on this is only but your opinion” he then adds. David Brooks thinks to add, as well, as is mine, but he timely realizes to keep that part hushed. He catches the potential vulnerability of this however to no avail, Meyer speaks, “not that it’s my point but you do write opinions for a living” Meyer says. David Brooks does not wince. Meyer expects this, he continues, David Brooks lets him, Meyer speaks, “on the other hand to that point though is my point” Meyer says. David Brooks rolls his eyes.
“I write opinions for the The Big Man Times on the side, it is not my main course in profession” David Brooks says to Meyer, but not because Meyer was unaware of it, or that Meyer had needed to be reminded of it in order for David Brooks to expose a weak point, but because David Brooks needed to say it for himself; he had been cornered by Meyer, Meyer had made him wince, Meyer attacked his ego. It was a cheap series of moves by Meyer, but Meyer needed something to restart the fire between them, Meyer had more left in store and he was not ready to let apathy in David Brooks stop him. Meyer is now out-wincing David Brooks significantly.
David Brooks begins to utter a response, but Meyer tries to beat him to first words, David Brooks refuses to allow this, he raises his voice over Meyer’s, Meyer recedes. Meyer respects this. David Brooks acknowledges it, he gives Meyer a nod. Meyer does not wince. David Brooks clears his throat and begins anew.
“We are not the same kind of writer you and I,” David Brooks says to Meyer. Meyer agrees–Meyer thinks he knows where David Brooks might be going with this. David Brooks continues, “you write self-styled, you are a novelist, the margin between us in that range of freedoms is wide” David Brooks says and continues, “you have no style-guide as a Bible, no traditions that you must always abide by, you have no true do-as-I-sayer to breathe down your neck ever” David Brooks adds and with unique emphasis–it was almost as if he was confessing. “I have my publisher” Meyer says, but was somewhat reticent to reply David Brooks with that answer. David Brooks shuts his eyes and rolls them. Meyer shuts one eye and presses it with his thumb. David Brooks adjusts his glasses. They both winced. The exchange was mutual. Significant enough to tally them even.