Tom Stoppard once told an interviewer that he tended to get plot ideas from unusual things he saw that made him wonder how they had happened. He gave as an example the time he saw a man in a suburban street, with his face covered in shaving foam, chasing a goose.
Then he tried to work out the steps that must have led to that moment. There would have been a series of ordinary, mundane events and decisions that made sense at the time, that came together to make something out of the ordinary.
I’m not going to write a play about a knickerless woman running down stairs, or running upstairs with her ass covered. Because a girl flashing her ass at a room isn’t all that astonishing. She was a pretty girl, in an ordinary girl going to music school kind of way. Actually, she looked a lot like the young Pink. I mean the singer. I was glad I happened to look up when she passed.
But there are things I haven’t worked out. Where did she come from, the place where she wasn’t wearing any knickers? If she didn’t mind being knickerless, why did she hurry to get more clothes on? If she did mind, why did she skip down the side of the stairs nearest the audience? If she’d been on the other side of the stairs she’d have been next to a wall, and no-one would have noticed.
So I haven’t worked out a backstory that fits.
It’s like that girl who was out by the seaside during Hurricane Sandy, dancing happily in a bikini with an umbrella, in the middle of 100-mph winds. Newscasters were talking grimly about the disaster, and she got into the news footage, clearly having a whale of a time while the newscasters just pretended she wasn’t there.
I still wonder what in the world was going on there, and I guess I’ll never know.
Same with this girl. Not important, but puzzling.