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morning work

I got dressed in a way that I thought might be casual but attractive, went to the velvet foam coffee place, and sat there with my latte, listening in to nearby conversations. Music, as usual, made it hard to hear. I suppose most people prefer that. I usually do prefer that others not be able to hear all that I say. But nevertheless, I strained to hear what I could.

I got this gem:

"It gets a little confrontational when I want to watch tv or stuff. She always wants to go somewhere. She was all drunk last night and tried to explain it."

"You might as well talk to your car."

"Your car doesn't smell like alchol, either."

"Or make stupid remarks".

I felt I had gathered a little treasure there. I hunger for good conversation. As I listened in on another couple, heard the intensity, the passion, in their voices, I wanted to be a part of it, wanted to join them. How strange would that be, to say, "Hi. I overheard some of what you said, and..." no, not a good introduction.

I took the first line of that short exchange above and wrote about a page and a half of a scene. Realizing that real writing means making it come alive, be complete, mean something. I don't know. I think it's a start, just to write what feels right at the time.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 21st, 2002 03:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Morning Work
I am reading Succulent Wild Women by Sark (www.campsark.com) and one of the things she talks about is going out to eat alone and risking going up and saying, "I couldn't help but overhear your conversation..." You will know (according to her) if your input is welcome or not nearly immediately. If not excuse yourself and politely go back to your book or journal, but she says she has had a really great time getting to know people that way. On the otherhand, I have not thought of going out to just observe how people talk. As a writer, myself, I think that is great! Either way, yours or Sark's you win! :)

Thanks for the suggestion.
Jan. 21st, 2002 03:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Morning Work
I used to think it was cheating to go to a coffee place and write but I don't any more. Whatever works is okay.

The conversations I tend to find most interesting also tend to be very personal. I can't imagine going up to anyone and saying "I overheard you talking about your girlfriend..." or "I hope you don't mind but I overheard you say something about the way your grandson is being raised...". Sometimes I overhear things about the "war on terror" and part of me wants to join in just because my views tend to be so far off the usual American view, but political conversations usually just get me angry and don't feed my need for the real person. When I meet new people and if the setting is right, I like to find out what really matters to that person, I like to get to the guts.

I know I am too intraverted by nature to go up to people who are talking. Or I should say, "up until now", as my therapist likes to say. I may want to dare myself to try that sometimes when it seems okay. Thanks for that suggestion!
Jan. 21st, 2002 04:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Morning Work
I can see what you mean about interrupting or even interloping on very private conversations, I, too, would be too shy. I quoted Sark as her idea appealed to me. I have "butted" in on conversations on the bus, train, or in line at the store on occasions, but not at restaurants. But then, again, I haven't been much of one that likes to do things out in public alone. But with your idea of "dialogue research" in mind, that is a perfect reason to purposely go out alone. My biggest problem is not being able to write fast enough for the most interesting of conversation.

Maybe we have helped each other on this, huh?
Thanks for sharing with me!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Judith Lautner
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