This activity engages hyper attention because you are required to think about any possible topic that you could discuss with this woman in order to get her to turn around.  There is no particular topic that you could steadily focus on which would be more of deep attention.  It causes you to get extremely frustrated because of how hyper attentive you need to be.  You can’t even think of enough topics that would work in the conversation.  This is extremely different from a short story because you create the outcome in a sense by starting the conversation off in different ways.  I tried to ask her about general topics that would start conversation, whether awkward or not.  I asked about the show and it turned into a sort of offensive question and she responded in an offended way and called it an art exhibit.  I asked about dinner and wine and she said she didn’t need either, just like she doesn’t need to breathe.  I also touched her shoulder in the beginning but that did not do anything besides get her to tell me the same thing she seems to always start out saying which is asking me about her artist.

hello “Hello,” you say — and stop. What would you say next? ‘I’m a famous critic, be on your best behavior’? There’s no etiquette established; and then it strikes you as strange that you should bother to be concerned. Fortunately, the little awkwardness is lost on her. “Good of you not to walk away again,” she replies. >touch shoulder You put a hand on her shoulder: the skin is smooth and warm, though it lacks the velvety finish of a vintage Hazar. You become aware of her breathing — the slight expansion of her ribs, the soft exhalation — natural, and yet somehow studied. “Ah — by the way,” she says, in a way that utterly fails to be casual, “have you seen the artist out there? — My artist, that is.” “No, I don’t think so. What does your artist look like?” “Black hair,” she says, and stops… “Never mind. He’s not here. He wouldn’t have come.” >A RUNWAY You can’t form your question into words. >A SHOW “You do realize what kind of exhibition you’re part of, correct?” you ask. (This is your favorite question for the evening by far. Some of the other exhibits have quite clever responses.) But she merely looks confused. Bad setup on this one… “An art exhibit,” she says stupidly. “What other kind is there?” >SORRY No need. If she gets too difficult, you can always have her reset. >A DINNER “Do you — eat, at all?” you ask. “I don’t need to,” she replies. “Just as I don’t need to breathe — though I find it calming to do so. I feel better that way. Besides, I find that people notice if I don’t breathe and it makes them nervous, though they don’t realize that that’s what it is that’s bothering them.” >A WINE “You don’t need to eat, so I presume you don’t need to drink either?” “Right,” she says. >A ARE YOU OKAY You can’t form your question into words. >A ALIVE You can’t form your question into words. >T ALIVE You don’t have much to say about that.


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