There’s a couple of things going on in this page that I think about each time I look at it; First off, this page is totally predictable. In the previous page Marta had stated that she read romance novels for 5 hours to avoid having to talk to the girl at the cafe. Although it seems predictable to have Marta come back to a closed cafe and her dream girl disappearing into the thought-mists of Marta’s mind, there is something that makes this event meaningful.
I figured the best way to convey Marta’s disappointment, not only with what went down, but with herself, was to make the entire moment silent. The decompression of the moment as Marta exhales, you get a brief sense of relief; Marta isn’t tense now, but she is falling back into her hole that she dug out years ago. Marta’s path to salvation comes in the form of the writing contest pamphlet, something she knows she can handle. There is hope in this page and I think it liberates the whole thing from feeling too figured out.
I had another thought about what could’ve happened in this page too — What if Silvia had been there? What would Marta have done? At best, she would have ordered a coffee, had an awkward exchange and left in a rush. At worst she would have just gone home. Personal experience has taught me not to set my expectations for myself too high; I tend to be in that same social realm that Marta inhabits, one with grandiose, theatrical imagery in the mind… Romantic and bombastic expectation… But then reality is often a pale comparison, made trite and de-railed by low self-esteem and a penchant for mis-managing my words.