Lisa-Jo at The Gypsy Mama is doing a fun little Friday writing-thing. She provides a prompt, and you write for five minutes. Her topic for today is to "think of the most unique person you encountered while you were out and about this week, and write them into life for us."
Since I don't have anything to post today, I'll bite.
Out and about? Out and about? Who has time to go out and about? Work and home, work and home, work and home, and that's it. Maybe go to the coffee shop where everybody knows my name and I know theirs. Same old same old. Yep. My boring, predictable life.
I went yesterday morning and there were two young men sitting there, two young men who clearly lacked exercise and sun exposure and possibly several days of sleep. Two young men I'd never seen before in this place where everyone knows everyone else.
I could tell by looking at them that they were into computer games and science fiction. And maybe philosophical conversations, the kind we got into in college late at night.
I don't know how I could tell. I just could.
I went to the counter, popped off my earbuds from my iPod, and bid Helen good morning. Helen is in her seventies, working three mornings a week at the coffee shop because she likes the conversation and doesn't have much else to do.
"The usual?" she said.
Then she made an odd, worried face and whispered something. I can't read whispers, so I shrugged and pushed a scrap of paper and a pen toward her. She finished grinding the coffee beans for my Americano, then scrawled, "Weird!" She glanced toward the two men sitting in the front of the shop.
I smiled. "Why?"
"Singing," she wrote, and then said in a voice just louder than a whisper. "One of them sat there and sang to himself for five minutes while the other one kept his head on the table. Singing!" The last word came out in a hiss. "And they've been here for two hours!"
"It takes all kinds, I guess," I said in my library-voice, and we both grinned. Then we resumed our "normal" voices, chatting as usual while she finished up my drink.
On my way out, I smiled at the singer and his friend (though I didn't know who was which), but they were busy talking and seemed to look right through me as they continued their conversation.
As I walked past them, I caught a word that sounded like "nanotech." I didn't know if their topic was science fiction, computer games, or late-night philosophy, but was sure it was one of them.
Or maybe they were talking about iPods. I shrugged, put my earbuds back in, and walked out the door.
(OK, so that was just about the worst thing I've written in a long time.)
Just to add ... even if I try to "tell it like it is (or was)" when I write, I just can't. I must admit that I stretched the truth a little bit here and there in this exercise. OK, so I made up probably 62 percent of it. Sorry 'bout that. But rather than call me a liar, let's just say I'm a "natural-born fiction-writer," OK? OK!
Oh ... and I just realized I didn't write about "the most unique person I encountered" this week. That person would be my daughter. Sorry, Anne. You were usurped by a couple of sci-fi chanteurs who really do exist. But if you'd said "nanotech" ... ? Yeah, I'd have blogged about you then. Seriously.