"Small" writing challenges for my small writing talent. Hotel note pads are the only space allowed. Let's see if I can strip it down and tighten it up to learn something. Improving my skill of weird fiction.
A louder than normal voice disrupted a lunchtime lull. Patrons sat in the sun at their iron tables outside in the direct sunlight. We sat inside at a dark and heavy table across from an equally heavy and dark bar. I sat at that table in a discussion which returned, again, to a previously discussed subject; her husband. Only a few sat inside so we weren’t disturbing the peace but were the inside more popular due to depressing weather, folks definitely would turn their heads to see my co-worker projecting alarming volume. We discussed several subjects throughout this business trip. Others in our group couldn’t be bothered to step outside the hotel but for a cigarette. Their loss. Vermont is fantastic in early summer.
Our topics ranged across interests and mostly came back to frustration at home. In no way were we overly personal with each other especially since I tried to steer our talks toward fewer claustrophobic reprises. The health of her husband and accompanying unwillingness to alter a personally embarrassing weight gain; her monthly attempts to gain his understanding of her travel schedule; Difficult co-workers as well. All of these talks would grow her voice to surprising levels. So surprising, I’m sure she could be a singer of some kind. Her tonal quality is forceful and sometimes invasive. I convinced her that coffee or ice cream is better elsewhere on Church Street than at the Irish restaurant where we finally paid our bill.
We walked and talked down and up sidewalks, lined with interesting storefronts. She spoke of what’s wrong with other people and I peppered questions to further understand her people, which probably did nothing to temper her variations in volume. The already mentioned husband, again; A family friend with lifelong and dramatic health problems. Never ending, yet pleasant – if possible. Don’t get me wrong, she is one of the nicer co-workers to travel with. Of course, she would be even more enjoyable if I loved high-drama within inconsiderate earshot of the public. However, as the setter of tone by being the one keeping my crew a cohesive group, I have become the travelling sounding board for those who don’t have anyone to talk to at home. I wished she could talk with her husband successfully but I suppose I’m here for when she can’t. After our long lunch, she became calmer and less reactive to a conversation. Her issues were probably out of her system for now. I hope I helped.
(Authors Notes) airborne: Proof that the back of a boarding pass can hold a good sized story.
The upside, and downside, to multi-day trips are the others in my crew who I get to hang out with. Sometimes, we learn more than we want to know about each other and sometimes we learn less.