We get off to a great start.
I swap AN ESCAPED LUNATIC IN CANNOCK CHASE
for MOTHER'S LOVE
and then it is a bit quiet for an hour.
A man promises that he will come back later and "blow your mind with one of my stories". But he doesn't come back.
The Exchange is often quiet for the first hour. When I choose the stories at the start of the day, I choose the ones I would really like to tell that day. But I know I won't get to tell them all, that's not how it works. Even so, I still "feel bad" for the stories that don't get chosen. Perhaps I need to think up better titles for them.
At noon, the bar opens, and the room feels different. A guy walks past wearing a t-shirt that reads "So far this is the oldest I've ever been" which would connect with several of the stories on the table, but he doesn't stop.
I take lunch early, and then, straight away, the longest conversation I've ever had at an Inspiration Exchange.
S. asks for STOPPING PEOPLE DREAMING because it is "appropriate for today".
In return she gives me INVISIBLE NOTETAKERS. She can't see the inspiration in it, but it's the "only story she can tell today." I can see the inspiration in it, though, so it goes on the table.
The ensuing conversation includes the stories AN UNBOOKABLE PIECE OF KIT and TAKE THE CAMERA HOME (even though neither of them are on the table) and also moving cities, children, travel, the stories we tell within families, the act of asking people to tell a story. Taking people back to a place in order to enable them to tell you a story about it. What is the mechanism by which a stranger will tell you a story? And then she is gone, back to work.
I swap NOT KNOWING WHAT TO THINK ABOUT POLE-DANCING
for FAILED ATTEMPT AT SEEKING SANCTUARY IN THE BRITISH EMBASSY
I swap AMPERSAND & INTERROBANG‽
for WEAR A HELMET
I swap THE IDEA OF A RETRONYM
for PLAYFUL RUNNING
I swap ARGON GAS
for TRANS- RE- DE- UN- FORMED SPACES
I swap 36 DAYS LOOKING FOR STUFF IN THE FRIDGE
for HELLO MR. WATSON
I swap HELLO MR. WATSON
for WHERE IS MY JUMPER
I swap WEAR A HELMET
for DON'T WEAR ORANGE SHORTS