People watching is the best show on earth...

Oct 25, 2007

Blind to Reason

. Oct 25, 2007
25 Whispers

Tonight I gave in to a craving for Dutch apple pie and a hot mint tea. I amble down to the coffee shop a block away and hop onto a counter seat at the end. There is one empty stool between my neighbor and I. He is black, maybe 40, with a shaved head, a tight goatee and striking amber eyes. He wears jeans and dark blue pullover. He enjoys a burger combo and talks to his male friend next to him. Two televisions mounted on walls across from the counter both broadcast updates from the California wildfires. After an interview with a home owner crying near the smoldering remnants of her house:

Amber eyes: Man, I am so tired of these damn people sobbing on about their burned up houses. If you don't wanna deal with it, don't live in the middle of the damn forest.
Friend: Yeah, I hear you. Still, though, losing everything. Makes me feel sorry.
Amber eyes: Why? They chose to live there. In their million dollar houses in the mountain.
Friend: Yeah, well, it's nice. It's nature.
Amber eyes: You think it's nice that you're paying to build their houses right back up? 'Cause that's what you're doing. All this, the rescue, everything. We're all paying for it with our taxes.
Friend: Hmm.
Amber eyes: I am tired of paying for other people's problems. Do not live in a forest. Do not have six kids on welfare. Do not make me pay for your problems.
Friend: Damn, you're amped today.
Amber eyes: Yeah, well, it's a bad week. You know I still have not gotten my Worker's Comp check?

Oct 20, 2007

No Signal

. Oct 20, 2007
19 Whispers

Eavesdrop Endings

Copy and paste the below script:

Writers: Click here for meme instructions.

Readers: This is a weekly meme where readers continue this overheard conversation. After reading this post, please close the window to return to the participant's blog and their own unique ending!

Yesterday afternoon I drove to campus to purchase yet another package of material from the copy center my professor insists we need. I am trolling up and down the aisles in one of the larger parking lots, hoping to find a space amid the sea of parked cars. I carefully squeeze around several vehicles 'squatting' in the aisles. They stand off to one side waiting for someone to leave.

I'm about to maneuver around a squatting white sedan when I see a girl walking towards us. I wait behind the sedan, which has clicked its blinker to the left. The girl enters her car, break lights flash, she pulls out to her left, faces us and begins driving forward, clearing the spot. Suddenly, a yellow Hummer zooms in from the behind her and snatches the spot. The squatter pulls forward abruptly and repeatedly honks his horn. The male Hummer driver has already exited the car:

Squatter: Hey! Hey, asshole! That's my spot!
Hummer: No it ain't. It's mine now.
Squatter: What the hell? I was waiting for it. I was signaling -
Hummer: Shut the hell up you wanker, you little girl. Waaaa! That's my spot! Get back in your goon car and get outta here.
Squatter: You're an ass. You and your ugly car suck, jerk!

The Hummer driver is already walking away. He flips the bird to the squatter without a backward glance. The squatter stands frozen for a second, looks back at me and then back at the Hummer. Suddenly he turns, walks back to his car and retrieves a piece of paper. He walks toward the rear of the Hummer and writes the license plate down.

New Weekly Eavesdropping Meme!

0 Whispers

Taking your insightful comments to the next level, I would love to see how you'd continue these posts. I invite you to participate in my new weekly meme. Each Saturday I will post a conversation for the meme, provided I’ve heard one. Write your own ending and post it to your blog within a week by:

1. Copying the meme button code and paste it at the beginning of your post on the ‘edit html’ tab (for Blogger). Other services are similar and you’re probably familiar with how to do this if you’re using something more complicated than Blogger. The button is linked to my initial post that will open in a new window. Readers can click it and read the beginning of the story without leaving your blog. If you don’t want to bother with that, just create a text link to my post at the beginning of yours. My post will always briefly explain the meme for your readers.

2. Write your ending to the conversation however you’d like; as an observer, in first person, as one of the speakers, whatever!

3. Come back to my meme post, leave a comment using the ‘other’ option (not Blogger Account) and be sure to enter the link to your post as your URL. My blog is 'do follow', so your links will be recognized by search engines.

4. Read everyone’s stories and invite them to read yours!

Oct 12, 2007

Last Supper

. Oct 12, 2007
32 Whispers

I'm at a favorite neighborhood coffee shop for a quick dinner. The servers are very friendly and always stand at the ready with endless refills of beverages, condiments, dessert samples and extra napkins. A lot of regulars dine here, myself included. An older man and I face each other, with an empty booth in between. He is white, wears a cap with an American flag patch and unzips a sensible blue windbreaker as he settles in to his seat. He unfolds a newspaper and looks around, acknowledges several servers with a wave and a smile. Within minutes, a young brunette comes over and gives him a hug:

Waitress: How are you today?
Man: I'm alright, honey. How 'bout you? How's school going?
Waitress: Oh, it's going. It's hard. I have two chem classes.
Man: Well you stick with it, honey. You're a smart cookie and you'll do fine.
(Two more waitresses come over, along with a young man)
After more greetings:
Man: Well, it looks like this is gonna be it. I'm leaving Sunday for my daughter's.
Waitress: Oh no, William! You really are leaving us?
Man: If my daughter'll have me. She might change her mind. Haha! It's the best thing, honey. She worries about me.
Waitress #2: William this place will not be the same without you. We'll miss you.
Man: Well I'll sure miss you all, too. And my pot roast dinner!

More staff stops by and exchange well-wishes. The man is jovial and smiles amidst handshakes and hugs. After he's ordered his meal and the waitresses tend to other tables, he lowers his head for a moment. He takes his glasses off and wipes one cheek with his hand. He takes out a handkerchief and quickly dabs at both eyes. He removes a pill bottle from his jacket pocket, uncaps it and swallows the mediation with a big gulp of water. He busies himself with his newspaper and his pot roast soon arrives. As the waitress sets the dish on his table, he places his hand on hers for just a few seconds, then gives it a light pat and winks.

When she walks away from him and toward me, she wipes tears away.

Indulge Me

8 Whispers

Hello everybody, I am kind of excited to have an interview posted on "Blog Interviewer". I got an email from the blog owner weeks ago with interview questions to answer about my blog. I filled it out and sent it off. Thought it was lost in cyber space but today, Eavesdrop Writer's on the site for all the world to see. The site's purpose is exposure and interactive voting by viewers. You can read my interview and give my blog a thumbs up if you like here . It was fun to participate. It's always neat to see your blog on someone else's blog. I will say beware the ads, though. The Blog Interviewer site has exploded with ads lately and it almost hard to see the posts anymore.

There are some cool blogs posted on the site, though. You might find browsing worthwhile.

Oct 8, 2007

Mend Me

. Oct 8, 2007
20 Whispers

I'm standing in the ticket line for the movie, "Into the Wild", this afternoon. The line is about 20 deep and moving at a snail's pace. I glance left and right at my line neighbors. There are a good number of young children bouncing around their adults waiting along with me. There is laughing, little feet slapping cement as they run up and down the length of the lines. A little girl and her brother on my left are slightly ahead of me with their mother. They are white and quite well behaved. Both watch the other children frolic. The girl, about seven, has sandy blond hair in a ponytail with a purple glitter clip. She wears a light green smock with big purple flowers and purple leggings. She twirls her ponytail with her fingers. Her mother suddenly looks below the girl's upheld arm and sticks her finger through a hole in the dress seam:

Mom: Oh, honey, there's a hole.
Daughter: (gasps) Oh noooo! We just got this! I love this dress! Mom you have to fix it!
Mom: (examining the hole closer) Hhhmm. Maybe this was already here when we bought it.
Daughter: Mom! You have to fix it! I wanna wear this to school. Can you fix it? Mom?
Mom: Well don't worry. Yes, I can fix it.
Daughter: I can't wear stuff with holes! They'll make fun of me like the Mexican girl.
Mom: What girl?
Daughter: The girl who wears pants with holes. She's gross.
Mom: Honey she probably can't help that.
Daughter: Well her mom should fix the holes.

We stand next to each other now in our respective lines. The girl looks over at me and I am caught staring. Immediately she folds her arms and clenches the hole in the seam with a little fist. She looks at the ground until they reach the ticket window.

Oct 4, 2007

How Was School Today?

. Oct 4, 2007
18 Whispers

My car is in the shop and I’m on the bus to work today. I enjoy the extra daydream time, but the ride is bumpy. I hold my breath with every screech of opening doors at each stop, for some reason. Most riders read the paper or gaze out windows, lost in thought. Some talk loudly to each other over the noisy engine works. Two teen girls burst on board with backpacks. One texts on a cell phone. Both are Hispanic. Each wear heavy black eyeliner, dark lipstick and school uniform khaki pants, white t-shirts. They take seats in front of me. Their beautiful long black hair flows over the seat backs and nearly touches my knees:

Girl 1: Shit. I’m hungry. You got anything to eat?
Girl 2: Again? You’re always hungry! Are you pregnant?
Girl 1: Shut up bitch! I’m not pregnant but you look like you are!
Girl 2: Whatever.
(Her friend bounces around in her seat, bobbing her head up and down)
Girl 2: Hey! Relax, man. Shit.
Girl 1: I can’t help it. I am pumped UP! I can’t wait to beat her ass! I can’t wait, man!

The bus stops across from a downtown high school and the girls exit. I strain my neck to watch them out the window. They join a group of girls waiting on the corner. Several pat Girl 1 on the back and head. She is jumping up and down pumping her fist in the air.

Oct 1, 2007

Queen of Hearts

. Oct 1, 2007
13 Whispers

I am in the emergency room with a family member today. It's warm and the air is a bit foul. People of all varieties pack the waiting area. Some look miserable, others worried, a few bored. The automatic doors whoosh open and closed again and again. A health care worker cups her hands and calls names above the din, there's no microphone. My relative is called. We go through vital signs and more questions in a tiny room. Then we are ushered further to an area with gurneys separated by blue curtains. The nurse settles us in and we wait for the doctor. After more questions, some pokes, prods and measures, another patient arrives on the other side of our curtain. Besides the nurse, there are two voices, an older woman's and a man's cracked with age and frequent, raspy coughs.

I would never disclose someone's private medical conversation, but I'll share with you tender talk that I hope I will speak myself someday, or more dearly, hear from my own husband:

Nurse: Okay folks, let's see what we can do here. You know the drill...
Man: I sure do, honey. I'm your best customer!
Nurse: (laughs) You sure are and we love you.
Man: Watch out, my wife's right here...
Woman: Come on now, stop joking honey. Rest your lungs.
Nurse: Alright, let's start the questions. (After many routine questions and answers, and nearly as many coughs and hard breathing - ) Have you fallen recently?
Man: Yes. In love.
Woman: Oh yeah? With who?
Man: Next week is our 61st anniversary.
Nurse: Wow! That's something to celebrate.
Man: We're going to have burgers from "In and Out". I took her to a burger joint for our first date. She stole my heart over a cheeseburger. She's my queen of hearts.

His voice cracks, but it's not from coughing.


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