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Monday, January 19, 2015

It's a Writer's Life

I'm sitting in the waiting room at an outpatient surgery center while my husband is somewhere beyond a set of double doors marked 'Do Not Enter,' having a routine medical procedure. Most of the other people waiting have their heads tipped toward the oversize television screen, watching Fox News. A few appear to be reading magazines.

But not me. Because I can't turn off my inner observer. She's always on, taking note of the elderly woman who keeps flexing her right fist. There's a band-aid on the back of her hand. Was there an IV in there recently? One of her eyes sags as if she's had a stroke.

A younger woman comes into the room and I notice that her hair, although solid brown, unlike the older woman's brown and gray, has the same sort of loose, pretty curls. Are they related?

"Car's running. Come on," the young woman says impatiently as she tips her chin toward the door.

The elderly one reaches for a cane beside her that I hadn't noticed, and leans heavily on it as she stands. Her throat twitches with a swallow. I wonder if she's afraid of the other woman.

But before I have a chance to contemplate it more, they're gone. And my attention shifts to the dark-skinned man who's made three trips to the rest room in the forty minutes since I've arrived. Each time he comes out, he stops at the reception desk and pumps out a blob of hand sanitzer gel into his palm, and eyes the three ladies working there for several moments.

Do they find him as creepy as I do?

"Can I help you, sir?" one of the receptionists finally asks him.

He merely shakes his head in answer, heightening my suspicion. I look him over. His jacket appears too large for him. Could he be concealing a weapon? A bomb?

Okay, now I'm being paranoid.

A nurse comes through the double doors and calls my name, then tells me that my husband is ready for me to go back and get him.

All thoughts of the creepy guy evaporate into thin air.

I realize hours later that I wasn't being paranoid. Not really. This sort of inner dialog is something I do all the time. I let my imagination have free rein. I was merely being a writer. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this stuff!


Rita said...

LOL! Definitely not alone! One of my favorites is watching older couple shop.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Not the only one, Wynter. I love sitting in a coffee shop or diner and eavesdropping on other people's conversations. There. I admitted it. :-)

Anne Marie Becker said...

My favorite sport is people-watching! LOL

When I took a sociology class in college, one of our assignments was to sit somewhere for an hour and watch people, taking unbiased notes on movement, conversations, etc. I chose an airport (back when we could sit in the waiting areas) and it was fascinating.

I wonder what the creepy guy was up to...

Wynter said...

Yes, Rita - I often turn down the wrong aisles in stores because I am watching people. I'm sure the store detectives always have their eyes on me;-)

Wynter said...

Marcelle - I've shushed my hubby a few times. He doesn't find it cute or endearing, though. Just annoying!

Wynter said...

Anne Marie - what a great assignment! I suppose these days, you'd be labeled a terrorist and promptly added to the watch list for doing such a thing in an airport!

Elise Warner said...

Must be in a writer's DNA. My first memory is sitting in Central Park watching people walk by and wondering about their lives.

Wynter said...

Yes, Elise - must be something we're born with!

Clare London said...

Most definitely not the only one! :) My family are used to me going suddenly unfocussed and scrabbling for my notebook in my bag, just after a snatch of conversation from shoppers :)

Wynter said...

Clare - I wish my family was as understanding as yours!

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