The procedure was simple. One of us would write down everything said by the other, including all the ums and ahs, over the course of twelve minutes. Then we would switch roles.
The one speaking was called the speaker, and the one writing was called the scribe. The process itself was called scribing, and the thing produced, a scribe.
The scribe had a watch, and at two minutes to go would say, Two minutes. It was one of few things the scribe was permitted to say. The others were begin, end, repeat, pause, continue, and ten seconds. Pause was said when the scribe needed a moment to catch up. Repeat was said when the scribe hadn’t heard something clearly. When ten seconds remained, the scribe would say ten seconds.
The speaker could, and did, say absolutely anything.
The scribes were written in special notebooks, one scribe per page, with the date in a certain place and the text beginning at a certain place. We each completed one scribe a day for several years. We never missed a day, even when we were fighting. One time I was so mad at her, I said nothing for twelve minutes. That scribe just has the date at the top.
When we broke up, I photocopied all the scribes and gave her the original notebooks.
Later she got together with a bodybuilder and soon became a bodybuilder herself. Now she’s in the Women’s Martial Arts Hall of Fame, I’m not sure for what. She’s still in touch with my mom.
As to the scribes, I just discovered that I threw them out. I’m a fucking moron.