I think it is the storyteller in my heart that catches glimpses into lives and then makes worlds out of them. In other words, I am never bored. Any little thing can be a springboard for my imagination. As a high schooler, it made me irritating (I’m sure) as I was always wondering what people where doing, talking about, et cetera. What must have seemed as “nosey” was merely me collecting vignettes with which I could later craft entire stories. Probably only other birds of the storytelling feather can understand this as “normal” and not “weird”.
Here are some glimpses into other worlds that I caught so far this morning:
The house on the corner, near the elementary school that was flipped and reflipped but looks to home a family now, has perfect 3″ grass and smooth bark dust and not one but two kinds of flower pots in front of their porch. One is the square cedar box type sold by big-box DIY home improvement places. The other reminiscent of a Grecian urn. One is empty, the other with tall fronds and geraniums all leggy and needing some care. Are the homeowners choosing a new look? Was there a heated discussion between the driver of the Jetta wagon in the driveway and the Toyota pick-up at the curb? If so, who will win? Which flowerpot will be there tomorrow? Or will a third option arrive on the scene? Perhaps a glazed pot that picks up the dark red of the brick and potted with dark greenery and white flowers.
Around the corner is the line-up of mini-vans, SUVs and practical fuel-efficient Northwest cars divesting themselves of small bodies as the neighborhood five-year-olds head into the school. One’s lights flash over and over as the mom unloads two scooters, one double stroller and a car seat. The scooters fly off towards to intersection followed by her hoarse voice, “Stop! Stop right this instant! I said STOP!” Both boys look both ways and fly across the white stripes toward the opposite sidewalk. The oldest, hair in his eyes like usual, misjudges and as the scooter’s front wheel bumps into the start of the curb, flies over the handles. I gasp and walk faster to the sound of “I told you to stop. See what happens when you don’t listen?” Her face is tight, her body tired out by four boys separated by only months. I squint. Perhaps they are trying for a girl again. But I don’t ask and my help is unneeded by the fallen boy who glares at me for questioning if he is alright.
The black cat’s tail whisks the leaves away from the tire behind which it hides. It doesn’t appreciate my greeting as the preyed-upon squirrel darts out from the nearby car and up the tree. The cat leaps after it but is too late. Hopping back to the ground from the maple’s trunk, it narrows its yellow eyes and slinks away, darting from tire to tire, a moving shadow.
The young man’s trousers hang from narrow hips and brighten the intersection with their orange hue. The cardigan, scuffed Chuck Taylors, and the hair curling over his collar all scream “northwest” as do the coffee mug and the Bose headphones–both insulating him from the world as he crosses the intersection to the beat of an unheard song and my turn-signal.
All these bits and pieces swirl in my brain, waiting. Someday they may come out again in a short story or even in a novel. But for now, I am happy to hold onto them. Glimpses into other’s lives, caught like blown dandelion seed heads in my fence, waiting for conditions to be just right, at which time they will bloom again.
ps. Sorry for my absence last Friday. It was truly the kind of day that at 10:30 that night I gasped and said in the car to myself, “I forgot to blog!” I guess the coffee and chocolate truly can run out…