The last thing I wrote for the writers group was an exercise I found very interesting, and one that I think might be very beneficial to “beginners” like me. The assignment was to write a conversation with no verbal speech. I took the advice of writing as an observer, rather than “participating” in that conversation, and I’d like to share the result with you here:
Non Verbal conversation exercise – Gil Shalev
The room was stuffy, like only a seldom used classroom could be. I was wondering why they wouldn’t use the one where the kids actually attended when Mrs. Donaldson reported pest management. So now we’re being politically correct to bugs?
As usual in these cases, I brought a little notebook and a pencil with, which serve both as a way to show how seriously I take it, as well as providing the opportunity to doodle aimlessly. The latter being the actual reason for the stationary.
When I left, that evening, my little notebook was empty, as I was distracted by John Krueger, Danny’s father, and Emily Gershon, a lovely forty years old mother of the coolest twins in school.
The teacher started with some fun and games, to break the ice I presume, and while trying to ignore her, I noticed that in addition to mine, a couple of more heads were directed elsewhere.
The man was looking intently in my direction, head tilted slightly and eyes peering over his glasses. I smiled, as if to say “Yeah, I know” but his expression did not change. I turned my head casually and saw the actual target. She was fishing for her smart phone and a second later, she must have felt the laser beams and looked sharply past my shoulder. From the corner of my eye I caught a smile, followed by a blush, and her head turned back to the board.
My neck was burning, and I decided that it was time to clear the line. I gently readjusted my chair a pair of feet backwards and stretched my legs under the low table. Emily’s head immediately turned, and a more relaxed version of the previous smile was drawn on her lips. I pretended doodling but let my eyes wander back and forth. John raised one eyebrow and his left hand turned quickly clockwise and counter. Stuffing her phone back in her bag she gave a quick and stiff nod. He returned the smile and stretched five fingers, then four. A subtle shake of head from Emily prompted a new set of fingers, five, than five. This produced a nod.
A thumb up from John seemed to have sealed the deal. I smiled to myself as all sorts of mental images filled my head. Then a movement from my left caught my eye. Emily had her hand over her mouth, but the slight shake and sparkle in her eyes were visible. John was a little less inconspicuous, as the teacher was looking at him, as she would have looked at young Danny. He raised his right hand in surrender and calmed his laughter down, sneaking a glance past me again.
Time crept up on me and before too long we were being shuffled out to the corridor. I looked about me to try and catch the two love birds and sure enough, there they were walking a couple of feet away from each other. I followed, and saw Emily speed up, carefully and while passing by John, she placed a hand on his shoulder as if to excuse herself, but the hand slid over his shoulder tenderly as she took the lead. I went to my car, planning an evening of wine and gossip with my wife, and as I opened the door, I saw John going into his car and tapping his wrist watch with a jittery finger to no one in particular and he drove off. An amused head shake from Mrs. Gershon sent me back home with a grin.
From time to time I’ll be sharing some of these excellent exercises I do. If anyone found that either interesting, beneficial or (hopefully) both – I did my part 🙂
As usual – feel free to let me know what you think.