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.
Rachel: I got it! …I burst your intimacy bubble. [laughs]
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!
What would burst your bubble?
The ThirskWriteNow writing group meets at the Rural Arts Centre in Thirsk on alternate Tuesday evenings at 7.30. If you are in the area and interested in what we might be up to, why not pop in…