Then he gave me a look that said, “Did you go get Prior Yates instead of a cup?” The look I returned said, “I ran into him by the elevators. He wants to sleep next to us.” His look said, “He can’t.” My look said, “I know. Why is your face weird?” His look said, “I’ll tell you in a second. It’s serious.”

Are Fair and Gomery telepathic? My feeling is no. Many outlandish things go down in the Wilfair world, but the people who inhabit it do not possess any special skills. No one can cast a magic spell. No one can tell the future. They're normal, mistake-making, curious people grappling with occasionally extraordinary circumstances.

This is probably my favorite contrast: normal/extranormal. I love it in the reverse, too, where the people are magical or strange but the world around them is normal. Normal/normal and magical/magical have their pleasures for me, for sure, but I'm more of a normal/extranormal or extranormal/normal gal.

The books' look-based conversations start after Fair works the motel's front desk and our trio prepares to go eat at The Wilfair. Gomery gives Fair a look that she interprets as "I'm ready."

I never intended this to be telepathic, in the term's truest meaning. Rather I wanted to ease these two people onto that special and rare track that very simpatico twosomes sometimes achieve. The track where subtle suggestions or ideas can be conveyed by a glance or a facial expression.

True, it is taken to its extreme in the Wilfairverse, with three or four fairly complex exchanges sometimes happening. But I find I can't go past four or at most five exchanges, and I don't want to, because then it veers into something more supernatural and outside of the books' rules.

Another reason these little Fair-Gomery look-conversations are kept tight? Because I like it when important information is shared between two people when a third person is present. One of the odd trends of the book, odd to me, at least, is the tendency for conversations that would typically occur in private between two people to take place in a group setting.

This is odd because I do value privacy and intimacy and candor. But I also value a robust and lively group of friends, all bearing and sharing opinions about each other and what should happen next. And that element flows far more easily when information isn't locked down between two people but is discussed in a more public setting. 

Ultimately I favor a private/public mix. Private so things can get deeply sweet and public so things can get sassy, what with more people weighing in on the matters multiple characters don't usually get a chance to opine about.

So telepathic-type conversations are kept to a minimum in the Wilfair world. Oh, I enjoy them, believe it, but they're just the cherry on top of the cherry that sits atop the multichannel, looks-texts-conversation-touch-based communication system employed by our late-blooming hotelier and growing-less-shy motelier.

(I went looking for an image to convey "telepathy" and found this album cover. It's a beaut. I can see Thurs Mathers rocking that neck scarf, too.)


Erika said...

I love trying to imagine their faces in these moments (I'm also pretty sure I make weird faces, trying to imitate them, when I read them). I feel like I can see a stubborn deadpan when Gomery 'says' "He can't."

These are some of my favorite moments and I'm so glad they are being highlighted!

Wilfair Book said...

Erika, I'm glad you are making weird faces when you read these parts, because I am making weird faces, too.

There's a lot of eyebrow-knitting with Gomery in these bits, at least Gomery as I interpret him. I like the stubborn deadpan, too! Yes. Totally can see it.

do dah said...

not-quite-actually-telepathic conversations are some of the best conversations. that's when i can tell that i'm actually, legitimately friends with someone. i never actually get even the foggiest idea of words, though, unless it's something i know we're both quoting.

and i'm glad someone else makes funny faces while they read these... although mine tend to be more "grin madly at everything that prior yates does," which is a different variety of face altogether. it's basically the same face i have for the better parts of doctor who, most of which obviously involve ten. interesting, as these men are not at all similar. also, i want a prior yates shirt. preferably the one with his giant face on it, which makes it a trickier proposition.

Wilfair Book said...

A question, do dah: Do you make faces in public as you're remembering previous conversations you've had or films you've watched or books you've read?

That's my issue. I find I'll have walked a block replaying something in my mind. And then I grow concerned that I've been a) mouthing remembered lines and/or b) smiling or frowning when warranted.

It's sort of one thing to make faces when one is engaged in reading or watching something but after the fact is one of my issues.

I'll work on that Prior Yates t-shirt. I kind of want to see it myself.

do dah said...

i have absolutely ZERO poker face. you can tell exactly what i'm thinking at all times -- including reading in public times -- IF you know how to interpret it. that part seems to be tricky for people; they keep telling me i'm hard to read and i have no idea why. scorpio?

i definitely spent several minutes just grinning at my computer screen at work the other day because i was listening to the wil wheaton-narrated audiobook of "ready player one" and his voice immediately made me happy. i also tend to spend a lot of time doing that ultra-girly covering my mouth with my hands thing when i'm grinning at some private thing in public. it probably makes me look deranged.

Nikki said...

While we were finally catching up on shows, I was excited to see a moment on the season finale of New Girl that reminded me so very much of Fair and Gomery's nonverbal conversations. I won't spoil it with details, but a look was exchanged that no one else caught or understood even though it occurred in a room full of people. It was lovely and kind of pivotal.

I also share in everyone's imagining of faces during these conversations (Gomery is most definitely an eyebrow knitter in my mind, too; also a raiser) as well as a penchant for making strange faces while squirreled away in my own head when out in public. I'm often told I have a serious/stern look when my mind is elsewhere (also a brow knitter here), but I've certainly caught myself making all sorts of expressions without meaning to.

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