Sunday, February 27, 2005

Fueled by a large dose of caffeine, I can become very one-track-minded. That's good when I need to concentrate. The brain takes over and tells the rest of me to ignore everything else at the coffee shop. Then I manage to zero in on my laptop and what I’m writing that day.

I’m working on describing a character in my story, a guy who’s gone crazy. I need a better way to say it, though. Demented... Deranged...

I’m in the zone, not distracted by what my ears hear. The noisy mixers whirring away to make those ice-blended mochas, the banging out of the coffee grounds... No effect. Loony... Loco... My eyes see the customers: that regular at the café -- the man with the gray dreadlocks, or that woman telling her two kids not to knock over the display of designer mugs... they don’t deter me from the task at hand. Having a screw loose...

Even that radiant woman who walks past me. I glance up, see she’s flashing a smile, so I return a grin and then focus down at the laptop... irrational... Wait -- out of the corner of my eye... was she still holding that gaze? I look back, but she’s eased on to her seat now.

Okay, whatever, let’s get back to our story: This character had a traumatic experience which caused him to snap. Ever since that fated day he’s been... a whack-job... insane in the membrane...

She walks past to pick up her drink and turns to me again. This time I don’t look away. This woman isn’t just being friendly... this is an ear-to-ear smile. Wow, those bright brown eyes, that cute little nose... that face...

Gotta say something... Bonkers? Koo-koo?

Nothing comes out. She heads to her seat. Shit.

Okay, time to redirect Central Intelligence with a new assignment: Project Pretty Girl. First step: Come up with something witty.

Uh... Which do you like better? Nuts or bananas?

Will you forget the stupid story?!

A couple of minutes go by, and my eyes are checking out her nice figure, my ears are listening to her dulcet voice when she speaks briefly on her cellphone. And I’m racking my brain for an opening line. Then I spot her pull out a book and open to a chapter.

Okay. I can walk past, ask her what she’s reading. Maybe I know it. Or I heard good things about it... play it by ear. That’ll work. Okay. Go.

And then some dude walks in and sits down at her table. She knows him. They start chatting. Damn.

So I didn’t get the girl and I didn’t get much writing done. But I did come up with that description I was looking for:

Fucked up. Yeah, that’s about right.


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