Today I was back out on the streets of Leeds for another day of exploration. This time it wasn't cafes but statues and pictures, which I drew on for inspiration to create characters and story ideas. I was also encouraged to people watch which, if not handled with subtlety, can result in people wanting to move as far away as possible from you and dial 999.
Avoiding arrest, I jotted down lots of thoughts mainly inspired from paintings in the art gallery. However, the most fascinating image for me was the sight of a boyfriend/husband being unwillingly dragged around the art gallery by his girlfriend/wife. At no point did he complain but you could just tell that everything about his being was screaming "WHEN CAN WE GO TO THE PUB?!!!". This brought me back to an image I had seen in the market cafe from yesterday. It was couple in their 50's eating a fry up. From the moment of ordering to the moment they finished (about half an hour), they never uttered a single word to each other. Only time I heard them speak was after they'd finished eating and the woman said "Nice that". The man replied "Mmn". And then back to silence. I just found that fascinating.
These two images got me thinking about the subject of communication in relationships; how we speak to one and other, how our communication changes over time, how new technology like Facebook/Twitter distract us from having any real conversations but instead allow us to escape into a strange world where we feel more free than ever to say how we feel without having to actually speak the words. So this is what I went on to explore.
I wrote a short monologue of a young woman, Melissa, working in that cafe, who was deliberating over a decision to accept her boyfriends marriage proposal. She saw this couple come into the cafe every other day to eat and used them as her reference point to what her future could hold. I used the piece simply to create the world for some characters - who I don't fully know yet - and simply to commit my thoughts to paper (this piece of genius can be found in the bottom draw of my desk, in my bedroom, which is in Narnia - if you're ever passing, I'll let you have a look).
Tomorrow, I'll be pushing forward with this idea of 'communication' set firmly in mind. I'm going to use the image on the silent couple of the in the cafe as my picture. I just need to find out who these people are, what they were like before, and how they ended up there.