Having started to venture out with the ThirskWriteNow writing group, I responded, last night, to a 500 writing challenge on the subject of Bubbles. What did I know about bubbles. In the end, I thought it might be interesting to see if I could work it into another project of mine. I’ve written a short scene between two people. If it was a movie, the log line would go something like this:
A female artist for whom there is no life in meaning, confronts a troubled philosophy professor looking for meaning in his life.
At a breakfast table, Professor Iain Grey, 50, sits with Rachel, 30. Both are dressed for the day. Iain is staring into his coffee cup. Rachel is looking at him, quizically.
Iain: I can see. You know that, don’t you?
Rachel: You can see what? You’re not making sense?
Iain: It’s clear… it’s like the substance of you… what you are, psychologically speaking …encased by your presence… your actions and deeds. It’s like the air trapped in a bubble…
Rachel: A bubble? Now I know you’re not making sense.
Iain: We all have it… a bubble. When you get close to me your bubble pushes against my bubble…
Iain: Don’t. I can’t stand people who laugh at something that isn’t funny…
Rachel: You’re funny…
Iain: Stop it. …And you’re too close.
Rachel: Too close?
Iain: Yes… Your bubble is pushing against mine?
Rachel: For Christ sake, make sense!
Iain: You believe in god?
Rachel: No, I don’t. …any way, I wasn’t too close last night?
Iain: Last night was different. The wine…
Rachel: Sod the wine …the sex was fantastic.
Iain: Now you’re just changing the subject.
Rachel: What subject?
Iain: Bubbles… It’s eighteen inches… [shakes head] You didn’t know that… did you?
Rachel: What’s eighteen inches…
Iain: The point at which intimacy stops and personal space begins…
Iain: Intimacy… that’s the problem.
Iain: Yes. There are four zones of interpersonal space. Intimate, personal, social and public. It’s all a question of how far from me, you… or anyone… is. Eighteen inches to four feet away from me is personal. Beyond four feet it’s social and beyond eight it’s
Rachel: So… I’m… what… sitting in your personal space right now?
Rachel: And last night? …It was intimate?
Iain: Yes… I suppose… Well, no…
Rachel: There wasn’t much choice… that’s a small bed you’ve got!
Iain: I don’t normally have company.
Rachel: That’s your problem.
Iain: I know.
Iain: And that’s the problem. My personal space is for conversations with friends… chatting with
associates or group discussions.
Rachel: And I don’t fit in?
Iain: And you don’t fit in.
Rachel: That’s rich. What about last night.
Iain: There was nothing psychological about it… I seem to remember it was primordial. …Animal
Rachel: But it was intimate? …Surely?
Rachel: What’s a matter? No answer for that?
Iain: Intimacy… that’s friends, lovers, children, family…
Rachel: Don’t I fit in anywhere?
Iain: No… I don’t think so… Well, I mean…
Iain: …we only met yesterday.
Rachel: And tomorrow you or I could be dead.
Iain: I probably will be.
Rachel: Christ… you’re dark.
Iain: Tomorrow’s the election.
Rachel: I know.
Iain: My brother is a candidate.
Iain: My brother…
Rachel: You’re that University Professor in the news.
Iain: If my brother loses, the president stays.
Iain: And I end up disappearing.
Iain: It’s complicated. …I can’t say. I can’t be intimate or even personal with you.
Rachel: Fuck your bloody bubble.
Iain: You did… last night… don’t you remember.
Rachel: So you do have a sense of humour… there is hope for you yet!