All I wanted was to sit in the coffee shop and write. This novel needed my focus. Typically, a coffee shop is a good choice.
Especially a coffee shop within an Indie Book Store. At 3:30 on a Wednesday afternoon.
At least you would think that.
But. Well. No.
As I ordered my mocha (ah…mocha), I heard a voice. A female voice. Shouting.
I paid. Smiled at the barista. Found a table with a plug nearby. Began writing a very emotionally charged scene.
“NOW, HOW DO I CHECK MY HOTMAIL ON THIS THING?” the loud, shouting woman…er…yelled. “THERE ISN’T A BUTTON FOR IT.”
I tilted my head and raised an eyebrow (a move I learned from my college choir director).
“WELL, I SENT THEM A MESSAGE THAT I WANTED TO BE ABLE TO CHECK MY HOTMAIL ON MY COMPUTER AND ON THIS THING.”
I turned. Hoping that if she saw me look at her, she’d get the point. Her companion, poor lady, sat inches from the yelling woman. An e-reader on the table. Both woman hovered over it. The companion spoke. But I couldn’t hear her.
I’ll tell you what I did hear.
“SO ALL I HAVE TO DO IS TOUCH THE SCREEN LIKE THAT? NO, LET ME DO IT. IF I DON’T DO IT MYSELF I’LL NEVER LEARN.”
“WHERE DO I BUY BATTERIES FOR THIS THING? LOOK. IT’S ALMOST OUT OF BATTERIES.”
“OH. I TOLD THE MAN WHEN I BOUGHT THIS THAT I DIDN’T WANT FACEBOOK. YOU KNOW ALL THE KIDS OUT THERE. ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS FACEBOOK THIS AND FACEBOOK THAT. I JUST DON’T WANT ANYBODY SEEING EVERYTHING I DO ALL DAY LONG. YOU SHOULD GET OFF THE FACEBOOK. IT’LL KEEP YOU FROM GETTING THAT JOB YOU WANT. YES IT WILL.”
And, so, my writing stalled.
I complained on Facebook. Maybe that was just to spite her.
I sighed. Rolled my eyes. Wished that her battery would just die…Die…DIE!
“LOOK AT THAT. SEE. THAT BATTERY DIED. DO I GET ANOTHER BATTERY AT MEIJER’S?”
It’s “Meijer”, by the way. And, no. You plug “that thing” into the wall.
But I didn’t correct her. Or offer my helpful hints.
Her battery passed away and I would get some sweet writing time in before my meeting.
But, not so fast.
“OH. DID I TELL YOU ABOUT THE LAST TIME I WENT TO THE GYNECOLOGIST?”
Friends. That isn’t made up. Even as a fiction writer, I never would have taken that twist in the story.
“WELL, AFTER HE…(part of this was omitted because I love you all and don’t want to subject you to it)…I WAS GETTING DRESSED. AND YOU KNOW HOW I WAS OUT OF BAND-AIDS AT HOME? YEAH. I RAN OUT OF BAND-AIDS. ANYWAY. I LOOKED IN THE DRAWER BY THE STIRRUPS AND FOUND SOME OF THOSE REAL NICE BIG BAND-AIDS. I TOOK A COUPLE HANDFULS BEFORE I LEFT. YUP. JUST STUFFED THEM IN MY PURSE. WELL. I PAY ENOUGH FOR HIM TO EXAMINE ME ALL THE TIME.”
At this point, I decided that she was going to die. In my novel, at least. No. Not at least. Only in my novel. Not in real life. No. Not in real life.
After a few more minutes of…
“THIS ICED TEA TASTES LIKE PEACHES.”
“DO YOU MIND SCRATCHING MY BACK? RIGHT THERE. YEAH. THAT’S NICE.”
“HAVE YOU READ THAT BOOK? OH. I DON’T REMEMBER THE NAME OF IT. NO. I DON’T KNOW WHO WROTE IT. WELL, I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT’S ABOUT EITHER. I HAVEN’T READ IT. HAVE YOU READ IT?”
She finally left.
And the coffee shop became nice and quiet.
I wrote my emotionally heavy scene.
Sipped my mocha (ah. mocha).
And reminded myself that nothing is wasted. All can be used.
Hence, this blog post.
Tell me about a moment like this. Have you encountered a loud talker? What do you do when someone is being rude? Do you clam up (like me)? Or do you tell them to stick a sock in it? Let’s share some fun stories.