Late one Saturday night, walking through a bar/restaurant precinct in Sydney:
Girl #1 to Girl #2: 'You look like a mushroom in that dress.'
Girl #2: 'Thanks George Michael.'
Girl #1: 'You're such a shit. I like this colour.'
Girl #2: 'Yeah it's beautiful. If you're wearing sunnies.'
What happens next?
Does the friendly banter escalate into a full blown biatch-fight right there in the street? Fingernails ripping through silk knits. Stilettos gouging chunks of flesh from bloodied knees.
Does the mention of George Michael set Girl #1 sobbing into her clutch purse because last week she caught her fiancé in flagrante with the rock star himself after a chance encounter at a hedonistic post-concert soiree on his tour Down Under. And Girl #1 knows, with fiancé's affections redirected, she is surely doomed to exist, barren and alone, with nought but two mangey cats to share with her their fleas, night after pathetic night, in a crummy dark bedsit, forevermore.
Or, does Girl #2 flee in an alcohol-induced hissy-fit, only for her body to wash up inexplicably, sodden, lifeless and with three teeth missing, in a storm water drain three days later?
We were delving into dialogue in my writing class this weekend, playing around with 'ear' and 'voice', when someone suggested a handy tool. Eavesdropping.
More specifically, using eavesdropping as a means to jumpstart your imagination. It makes sense to me. Suppress those giggles, jot down a few delectable snippets and let your imagination go nuts. I'm giving it a go.
Oh, and as for Girls #1 and #2? They said goodbye at the next set of lights. Tottered home and went to bed. I know, so boring. The imagination is much more fun.