Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Creating History

I realised for the first time today, that when I see a random stranger walking down the street I have a tendency to create a history for them. This afternoon as I was driving back to work from the Supermarket, I heard myself thinking about it. There were two middle-aged men walking together, one slightly in front. Neither of them were talking, but the guy walking a little behind was looking intently at his companion. There could have been a slight lull in the conversation, or a dramatic pause, but the look on his face conveyed hurt, and an impatience for the next line. So, as I do, I started to create a whole back story for the two strangers. They were both wearing suits, so they were on their lunch break walking to the nearest store for some food. For some reason they instantly became lovers, involved in an illicit affair that they had to keep secret at the office. The conversation between them had been strained for the previous part of their journey before my path crossed theirs, and just as I was passing, it had moved into an argument. The look of hurt and anticipation was caused by a comment that the leading man had made. Something spiteful and untrue, said just to cause the other man some pain, something to get back at him for the words that he had said last night. Then just as quickly they had entered my life, they are gone, probably never to be seen by me again.
Then a little later we were passing a young woman wearing an incredibly short skirt and a tight tank top. Her hair was blowing about in the blustery wind that chills the air in Derby at the minute. I didn't think she would work in an office, so she became a struggling student, walking into work at one of the nearby pub/restaurants. Earning a living in a job that she hates, but has to do if she wants to continue her studies. Dreading the afternoon turning into evening when the leering, leching men will come out in their droves to slime all over her. And just to make things worse, she was out last night, clubbing with some friends. So not only does she have to deal with unsavoury men, she has to do it with a hangover!
There were many more people that we passed on our drive back, totally oblivious to the fact they had in a small way changed my life. For without them, I would not be sitting here right now, writing this for you! It's like The Five People you Meet in Heaven, how people can touch you, and change your life without even realising they're doing it. It fascinates me.
I guess it all comes down imagination again. It surprises me how many of my posts revolve around imagination. I'm so thankful for mine! It makes life so much easier to deal with!

1 comment:

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

Rach, this is great exercise for someone trying to train herself to be a writer. I used to do it all the time. (Now I'm too jaded. And that's probably hurt my writing.) I think you've got these people just right in fictional terms. It would be fascinating to compare your imaginings with the real people's lives, but we'll never know.