Stalking My Thoughts
Which was easier?
I pride myself on a vivid imagination. But..remembering is easier than imagining. I have taken to sitting in places, and watching people. I wrote more about this in another post. Some day, some of my observations might be helpful in a story, especially if I need someone doing something ordinary.
Ten year old boy at the library (Tim)
Tim is with his mother at the library. She holds his hand as they walk to the computer terminals, the ones perched on high shelves. A user stands, searching for what they need, without dallying. Tim wears a jacket, sweater and cotton pants. His sandy hair,recently cut, does not quite touch his ears. The Casper wind erased all memories of a part.
He holds a book, tucked under one arm. From the size of it, the book is probably a children’s book. If it is for him, he shows no interest in it, beyond holding it. He never looks down at it, as if taking it for granted, or forgetting that he carries it.
He yawns a lot, always moving, shuffling is feet, hands going in and out of his pockets, tugging on his jacket. He looks around, moving not only his eyes, but his head, his shoulders, twisting his entire body. All the while, he continues to lean into his mother. I get the impression that waiting for her is an ordinary part of his life.
At one point, he and I make eye contact, and he regards me, solemn, for a moment. When I smile, he rewards me with a quick little smile, then his attention shifts. He never, quite, looks my way again.
A library patron approaches, and uses the terminal next to the one his mother is using. Tim leans in against his mother. All the while, he looks over the second adult’s arm, watching, never looking away. Through the two minutes the stranger is there, Tim’s eyes never waver, never leave. The newcomer pays no attention to Tim. After the adult leaves, Tim’s eyes stay focused on the second screen. He leans slightly toward the terminal, eyes hungry, wanting to do something with the computer. But…he never does.
Tim never strays far from his mother, usually touching her in some way. From time to time she reaches over and touches him. When she does, she never looks at him, perhaps reminding him she is still there, but not breaking away from her own search. Several times, at long intervals, he speaks to her, but she doesn’t seem to answer him. Perhaps Tim reminds her he is there.
Then, having either found what she looked for, or abandoning the quest, mother and son leave. They hold hands. He looks at me, one last time, then disappears around a books shelf.
Will I ever use ‘Tim’ in a story?
I will call Central Casting the very next time I need a boy to fidget while an adult does something important. I have just the person to help me express a mood, a time, a place. Only…he might not be carrying a book he never opens.