Space Invaders – Day 306 – Tom

One of the places that always forces me to reflect is a crowded room full of strangers. Earlier this month I found myself at the Opening Night do for the Brisbane Writers Festival. It was very intimidating- the room was buzzing with experienced writers who all knew each other.

I stood at the side willing myself to go and talk to someone. Hadn’t I learnt my lesson by now? This project had been all about interacting with strangers- yet I was terrified of just walking up to one in real life and introducing myself. Thankfully, after a few minutes that seemed to stretch forever, a man (who also stretched forever) came and stood next to me. I looked up at his tall figure and suddenly we were having a conversation. His name was Tom and he didn’t know anyone either. He was from Melbourne and making video games was his thing- but he’d written a book just recently (read here). It was a lovely chat and we bonded talking about games. He recommended I play Journey, which I did just the other day and now I never want the game to stop. In Journey- almost everything is your friend- but it’s a very quiet game.

This has confirmed something in my mind: That I’ll never be a loud person who is the centre of the party, but if I can continue push myself to talk to strangers and befriend people in my own quiet way- I will get so much more out of things. 

The other day I emailed Tom to ask for a story idea- he said:

“an introvert is playing a Space Invaders arcade cabinet by herself at a fish and chip shop, extrovert comes over and talks to her and they make a connection over aliens, fish and/or chips”

Everyday

At the chip shop

Aliens descend

She mashes the button

Eliminates them

“Can I play?”

He mashes the button

Misses

Her eyes roll

“You’re supposed to stop the aliens.”

“Why are you always here?’

“Because people are aliens.”

“Am I?”

“Yes”

“What happens if you let them in?”

A shrug

“Can I play again?”

A nod

He smiles

Mashes the button

Misses again

She smiles

“I guess a few aliens are okay”

Rock – Day 213 – Quiet People

I’m a pretty quiet person. Yesterday as I filmed with all the psychologists I noticed for the first time what it’s like to be in a room filled with other quiet slow talking people. Sometimes its difficult for quiet people- but yesterday it was so easy. 

The flowers were loud, they grew fast toward the sun constantly spreading their seeds and letting their petals fly on the wind. Rock tried to keep up with them, but it was hard. By the time he’d finished introducing himself, the flowers had wilted or turned away. Rock always thought there was something wrong with him. Why was he so slow? Why was he so quiet?

One day it rained. Hard and fast, Rock was pelted with fat bullets of water. He could feel the earth softening beneath him, and then he was sliding. Rock wasn’t used to moving, it was fast and scary. But when he finally came to a stop, there were no loud chattering flowers. Just a bunch of grey lumps. He wondered what they were. But then they began to speak, a slow deep rumble. Rock recognised it immediately. There was nothing wrong with Rock, he was just being Rock.