An older gentleman with hair the color of Jefferson’s powdered wig–not Washington’s, situates himself near my table. My crap is spread all over the orange circle surface. This is an experiment on my part–are white noise chatters and espresso machine murmurs less distracting than active teenagers, a peppy Dachshund, a moaning elderly lady and a bevy of spiders. We’ll see. Jefferson (I’ll call him) places down a large coffee and electronic device. I think his fingers are tapping in beat and measure to the song he’s hum-singing. Into my left ear and out the right goes his happy. I’m finding, I don’t mind. I’m more curious.
His large-knobbed knuckles guide the iPad with a youthful confidence. Interesting. I’m not a wonderful judge of age, but I’m guessing he might be in his late sixties. His boxy fists wear no wedding rings. Sitting up straight and true in his café chair, his broad chest is leaning a bit forward into the table. He’s in good shape. I realize now I’m staring. There is nothing between us to hide the fact that I’m observing him. I’ve decided to call it observing because staring sounds a bit creepy. I wonder if a fifty-three year old, artist/writer woman ever got nailed for stalking a humming older gentleman with nice calves.
What is Jefferson’s story? Why am I infatuated with his possibilities? How long can I stare without getting caught? Was it a mistake to crawl up from my basement studio?
The list of questions is growing with no obvious answers coming and yes, I’m still staring. I think his eyes are brown and he’s got those angular brows that make a man manly. His hum-singing has turned to full on humming as he appears to be multitasking–reading, sipping and beating to music simultaneously. Shit. Without warning, his face goes vertical. I’ve got nowhere to run so I fallback on Plan B: lame ass smile. He smiles back. Damn, are those teeth real? Nice. My face springs into action by aborting the mission. My eyes jockey to the right across the vast sea of books–none written by me.
Far on the opposite side–the store’s DVD and music section. There a large “FEATURED ARTISTS” sign looms near the ceiling. In my present state of mind I imagine it reads “EAT ARTISTS.” This makes me laugh. I return my scandalous eyes to my unfinished manuscript scattered across the small café table. Discouraged, I decide it’s time to sneak another peak. Jefferson’s table is vacant. He’s gone missing. How the hell did he leave without my noticing? How long was I looking at that damn sign?
I’m sad now and out of excuses. It’s time to decide if I’m an artist/writer or the stalker of a white-haired, broad-chested gentleman.
this was one of those quickie marker sketches from last year-thank you