i'm a people-watcher. actually, i'm a people-judger-story-maker-upper. i zero in on someone, watch how they're interacting, etc. then make up a story ... that i know is true, because let's face it: i know people. it's my gift.add it to the list.
it's wednesday night at chik-fil-a. a guy--about fifty--sits with two teenagers (girl and a boy). the girl has a salad and a book. she's tall, maybe 16; volleyball uniform. the boy is lanky, pimples...needs shampoo. he's got two chicken sandwiches that he eats still wrapped in the foil bag and shoves waffle fries in with the bites. the man sits at the edge of the table. he has a coke. he smiles at the boy, kinda. they say a couple words between the man scamming a waffle fry here and there.
you got it? sure you do: weekend dad, the later years. kids are getting too old and busy to make the weekends work, but they still do dinner together on wednesday nights, your basic standard visitation order circa 2001. probably been coming here for years. daughter used to climb in the playground while son and dad talked baseball stats.... it all started when dad left for his secretary, she's not around anymore. transferred. married. then dad got depressed, moved into an apartment. he drives a hyundai and says things like "so, how's your mom these days..ever ask about me?"
now here's one for you:
Chili's Galleria. Christmas Eve. about 4:30. a man sits alone at a 4-top table on the patio looking out onto the ice rink, which is packed with kids in bright red jackets. plaid scarves. he's drinking miller lite from a long-neck. there's an empty one in front of him as well. two plates with half-eaten meals sit across from him. there are chips and salsa on the table that he picks at. every once in a while a woman walks from rink-side to the patio railing in front him. she's a hottie. but not a pricey one. she has on red-plaid pants that she had to lay down to zip up. short black boots with spike heels and tiny leather ties on the ankle. an oversized gold cowl-neck sweater dips just low enough to catch his attention when she leans over and gives him that "please come out here" kind of look. on the rink, two little boys -- 5 and 7 skate to the plexiglass. they are not smiling. the seven year old reaches down to hold the little one's hand. they wait for the woman's attention. she shakes her head at them, gently. gives them the "go ahead and skate a while" look. they skate off.
..guess i kinda got a dudes sitting-a-restaurant vibe thing going on today. but that's your problem.
now discuss. comment. write.