I was cruising around my town’s little(ish) downtown area, waiting for inspiration to strike as to where I wanted to have lunch – and yes, my life is made up of such important, momentous thoughts! – when I went left instead of right…
A couple of blocks of walking and I passed a coffee place I had seen a few times, but never entered. I’d wanted to try it a few times, but never quite got around to it. On some random impulse I decided to change that. I went inside.
I’m glad I did.
I don’t do big chains for, well, much of anything (other than my currently-frustrated In-n-Out addiction). I much prefer to support small, local businesses. This new place is just that: a tiny, two-person local operation. It also had a crowd that was…eclectic, to say the least. It was definitely an interesting place to try. I liked it. Sadly, it was also a bit pricey for someone who drinks as much coffee as I do – no free or cheap refills makes me a sad panda.
It wasn’t the shop itself that convinced me to write this post, however. It was the people. It was one group in particular. I’m not sure if it was a halfway house, a social-worker thing, a church group, or some other beast, but…
But there it was: a group of three teen-age streetkids and a couple of adults.
I didn’t eavesdrop, I promise, but I couldn’t help but overhear a bit…it was a good group. That still isn’t what got me, however.
Connor was there.
No, really, I mean it. Connor, in the flesh, was right fucking there!
A kid who couldn’t have been more then sixteen or seventeen, hiding behind long, dirty-blond hair and slouching a bit to hide his height. Dirty secondhand clothes, a foul mouth he was trying (and failing) to control…
I felt like I knew him.
It’s weird what sets you off, or at least what sets me off. All of those other ghosts I mentioned a couple days ago? They took one look at ersatz-Connor and shut the fuck up.
From a morning that was, at best, only semi-productive, things turned around and I got three scenes planned and outlined. That actually is a good amount for me to do in one morning. A very good amount. Even better, as I write this I’m itching and impatient to head off (yes, to the taproom) to write at least one of those scenes.
Maybe it’s just me, but randomly running into a kid who could’ve been the real-life model for my main character was, while a bit weird, also pretty damn funny and very invigorating.
As a final thought: if I ever run into a “real-life” Oz*, I’ll be completely fucked.
*Yup, still my favorite character…and the only one who makes me feel guilty about doing “really bad things” to him as the writer.