Joss Stone – Put Your Hands On Me
“Did this really happen?” If you’re a writer you’ve probably been asked this question, at least once. Maybe not so much about your entire story line, but perhaps a scene or incident in the story.
For myself I always answer with a blanket, “Certain tidbits were pulled from my own life or my observance of life.” Very rarely have I written about (or should I say, have yet to write) an event pulled one hundred percent from my own experiences from start to finish. (Wouldn’t that be a memoir?)
I find it very interesting when people respond to a scene or theme of a story (mine or anyone elses) with, “Yeah, that could never happen.” It makes me wonder what bubble he/she lives in that they have not read, heard, viewed or otherwise personally witnessed (even from afar) the very act(s) they are denouncing. Granted, the younger generation may be more pessimistic not yet having the knowledge and life experiences those of us (ahem) older folk have been so fortunate to call their own, so their ignorance can be largely ignored. However, what about the rest of the naysayers?
To think that certain events could never possibly happen is just, well, absurd. Okay, zombie festivals, blood sucking vampire sleep-overs and alien wedding infiltrations may never happen, although I’m pretty sure I saw a blood sucking zombie at a political rally last week, but there is plenty of “life” that has, living and breathing in the pages of many books mine included.
For example, I was at a cafe the other day, a great place to overhear lots of juicy gossip, when I became third party to a man and woman talking (it was obviously their first date!). I watched them enter after noticing the man outside at a table stand to greet the woman, albeit much younger, with an awkward peck on the cheek. He opened and held the door for her as she breezed in all smiles as if she’d never been to a place like this before flipping her hair over her shoulder giggling.
They stood in line together talking casually his eyes fixed on her, hers glancing back and forth from him to the menu. I couldn’t be sure, but for a moment I got the impression she thought him older than he’d seemed in his profile. Nonetheless, she allowed him to buy her drink which he then carried to a table adjacent to mine. I wondered what was wrong with the other twenty vacant tables, but quickly changed my mind upon hearing, “So, you’re shorter than most men I date.”
To which he replied, “I hope that’s a good thing.” She smiled and cocked her head, “I like my men shorter.” Being next to the window allowed me to glance in it ever so often catching a glimpse of the man’s face in the reflection of the glass. His gratuitous smile led me to believe he wasn’t keen on the idea of having an Amazonian woman tower over him particularly not one whose shoes couldn’t be removed to even the playing field as she was wearing sandals.
The conversation seemed easy enough as pleasantries were exchanged, you know, the normal, “Where do you work?” “What music do you listen to?” “What do you like to eat?” etc. etc. The girl responded that she was a vegetarian, which the man replied to by saying he ate everything in sight, but sushi was his favorite. The girl piped up saying sushi was also her favorite food even though she only ate it twice a month. The man narrowed his gaze and said, “You’re not a vegetarian at all then. You’re a pescatarian.” The girl was taken aback at the correction as if she were a teenager in his class being scolded for using the incorrect noun.
Her face went red with embarrassment as she looked down at her coffee wondering what to say. He must have sensed the change in her demeanor, or the change in his status, as he threw out an enthusiastic, “You’re so sexy when you blush.” I held my tongue before blurting an, “Oh, please,” under my breath, but figured the girl had a better line, and she did.
“So what’s your favorite position?” Huh? My eyes bulged like a blow fish. I could only imagine the man’s response was going to be a doozy as he sat back in his chair, a smirk on his face.
“Missionary,” he replied in a low voice, yet loud enough to keep me privy to the conversation.
The girl smiled coyly, “I’m a nympho.”
“I’m a horn-dog,” the man shot back.
Okay, seriously? Is this first date material? I wondered. Geez, I was out of the loop when it came to the dating scene. Then again, maybe the game progressed faster these days, each text counting as a conversation, each email correspondence a “date,” and sexting, well, we’ll call that “obvious.”
The girl took a sip from her cup and “accidentally” allowed a few drops to drizzle from the left corner of her mouth (still trying to figure out how she managed that and no, I haven’t been practicing), which she chased with her pointy tongue as she smiled apologizing profusely, all the while holding his gaze. Dang, this girl was good, I thought. The man looked rather dumb founded swallowing hard and repositioning himself in the chair.
Leaning forward across the table she asked with a deviant grin, “Ever done it in a public place?” The man’s eyes were fixed on the cleavage protruding from her blouse at least two sizes smaller than the recommended allowance for teasing men, but hey, who was I to judge.
He leaned forward and looked her in the eyes, “A park, just down the street in fact.” Oh God, I hoped he wasn’t going to launch into the sordid details. “How about you?”
“A public pool.” The girl looked proud of her feat and, thinking about the probability of such an act with a million people around, I thought it quite spectacular myself. The two eyed each for what seemed like an eternity, me wondering when they were going to leave and get a room. I mean, the two just reeked of lust.
“So?” The girl’s question hung in the air as she smiled at the man biting her lower lip playfully. I couldn’t be sure, but I think she tipped her head in the direction of the back of the cafe while raising her eyebrows suggestively. Oh dear God, no.
The man smiled in knowing agreement. The girl got up and walked to the back of the store, but instead of sitting in a secluded booth she entered the bathroom followed closely by the man. I heard the faint sound of a lock and realized, oh – my – God! Two strangers were having sex in the bathroom of a public cafe! Seriously? I sat nervously glancing around to see if there were any other witnesses but no one was willing to meet my astonished stare.
It wasn’t more than five minutes and the two were back at the table sipping their drinks as if nothing happened smiling as if they held a national secret between them. The woman briefly caught my inquisitive stare and returned a smirk as if proud of herself. Can you say, icky?
“Shall we?” The man asked, his eyebrows raised in anticipation.
“I can’t wait,” the woman replied, her face lit up with a Cheshire cat smile. I watched them leave together wondering if the whole episode had even occurred. More than that, I felt I understood an entirely new form of dating, if you could even call it such.
So, the next time you think a story may not be true or sounds completely contrived, you may be right, but you also may be wrong.