We’ve been awakened in the wee hours of the morning by the scritchings in our walls that tells us we’re not the only ones living under this roof. As I have fed birds in our front yard for years, I’ve kept the bird seed in the garage with no problem until last week.
Yes. Bird seed scattered everywhere. My husband, Mr. Duct Tape, used his usual solution. I warned him the silver stuff over cardboard would hardly stop the huge rodents we had wandering through our walls and garage. But at the moment, neither of us had time or supplies for anything more.
Sure enough, the next day we had another clean-up.
“We need to get a metal garbage can,” I said. Years ago we used to keep the dog food out there in a plastic can, but the rats ate a huge hole right through it.
“No,” said my husband, refusing to give in to either me or the rats. I still am not sure which. “We don’t have room for yet another garbage can out here.”
Paper and glass recycling.
I saw his point, but I wasn’t thrilled about moving the bird seed into the living room either. And no way would I give up my beloved hobby. We were at a stand still and the rats were winning.
Later in the day, I had to visit the jewelry store with a broken clasp on one of my cheap thrift store finds. An older silver-haired gent with a voice that surely came from a radio or t.v. station, stood leaning over the counter.
“What I love about buying jewelry for her, is these fancy boxes,” he said, the necklace in front of him glittering so much I needed my sunglasses.
Wow. I could hardly take my eyes off of him. Silver hair. Tan. Fit in his tennis outfit. Gorgeous. Seventy? Perhaps older, but he would have been a hunk when he was younger. Who was he buying the beautiful diamond necklace for? I could picture her. She’d be a younger woman, also very slim and tan.
“Hey, I gotta move my car, ” he said. “I don’t want to have any scratches on it from car doors opening. I’ll be right back.” He ran out the door.
“Wow,” I said to the women behind the counter and the other woman customer. “He must not be married.”
Everyone in the shop laughed.
“I mean, let’s get real. He buys jewelry for her all the time?”
“Yes, he does,” said the jewelery sales woman. “And you’re right. They’re not married.”
I sighed. “Gee, I wish I could just get my husband to buy the garbage can I want.”
The hoots calmed down in the store by the time the gent came back in the store to take his jewels to his lady-friend. He told me he’d call my husband to give him some advice, but I declined his offer, smiling.
I didn’t want any bling. This guy had an expensive sports car. You just know it. Mr. $.
I’m happy if I get a shiny garbage can.
And today I’m thrilled. Why?
Neither of us got much sleep last night. The rats were at it again. More garage-cleaning this morning.
I looked at my husband and raised an eyebrow.
“I’ll get it,” said my husband.
Can’t wait to tell the ladies at the jewelry store.
1. People watch. Imagine the story behind the story of various people you see on the street. Who are they? What are their back stories? Who are their mates? Do they have children?
2. Use a person that you see during your wanderings as a focus for a story, poem or personal narrative/essay.
3. Take a paper and pen to a coffee shop or other public place. Glance up now and then without staring. That way people won’t know you are writing about them. Describe a person, animal or object you see physically. Then imagine their emotional life. Next, throw them into a story. What is their problem? Their goal? Who is their antagonist?