Building Blocks (odd occurrences)


Time molds vivid memories from one’s past into the building blocks of one’s writing…

Odd occurrences or observations in one’s life can make interesting story fodder. This post will hopefully entice you into becoming more observant, or let you relax knowing that everyone has strange life moments.  OK, maybe not as strange as mine.

I was recently attending an outdoor evening concert and I noticed that a turkey buzzard was circling over the food vender’s truck.  I commented to another attendee, “I wonder if the turkey buzzard is attracted by a good aroma, or that’s an omen?”

Back in the early 70’s, hippie Steve drove a rural taxicab part-time.  One summer evening my passenger was a young woman about my age; with a large plastic soda cup in her hand.  Upon entering the cab, she said that she had just broken up with her boyfriend and was going to her sister’s apartment to live.  A block from her destination she asked if she could roll down the window and smoke.  Of course she could; at that time, people did smoke cigarettes in cabs.  I soon noticed the distinct aroma of a contraband substance.  Yep, she was having a toke.  I pulled up to the apartment and, as she paid the fare, she said, “I don’t have any more money…here;” she tried to hand me the joint as the tip.  “That’s OK, you enjoy it.”  Joint politely turned down, she handed me the rest of her soda.  I then drove away with both front windows rolled down as well.  Thankfully, I was not pulled over by the police and, oddly, no other customers mentioned the somewhat lingering aroma.  And, no, I did not drink the soda,

On a first date during my early college days, I took my date to a neighborhood restaurant.  Soon after we sat down, I noticed that she was uncomfortably preoccupied looking at a romantic couple at a table across the room.  When I asked her what was wrong, my date responded, “That’s my neighbor…and that’s NOT he husband!”  Later, I would learn that the restaurant and adjoining motel was called ‘Divorces Northwest’.

When romance ‘heats up’.  I was with a group of people at a restaurant and there was a romantic couple at a table behind us.  A person in my party suddenly said “Look!” and pointed to the love birds’ table.  Apparently, as they were holding hands across the table and murmuring sweet words, they had pushed a large paper napkin up against the decorative candle and the napkin had caught fire.  With flames reaching skyward, a member of my party casually doused the flames by pouring his water on the napkin.  The flames may have been put out, but the couples romance uninterruptedly stayed heated.

Keeping on the subject of restaurants, while a teenager I went to a local restaurant with my bestest friend Joan.  We were seated in a booth and there was a painting of a waterfall scene on the wall next to us.  Joan motioned for me to look at the painting.  There was water actually dripping out of the waterfall.  Apparently a pipe behind the wall was leaking at the perfect location.  We laughed too hard to notice our food.  That restaurant is now long closed; however, to this day I cannot drive past the location without thinking about it.

(As I thought about this post today, I thought ‘maybe this event gave a fellow patron the idea for the electric waterfall wall hangings we have today’?)

Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.