If I could, I would eat the Trout out of Vonnegut’s cradle.
A study in character
The young man with frizzled hair is at the bookstore cafe reading UTNE, with another book by the side. He sips his recycled paper wrapped coffee, lifting up his head once in a while to look around. With his left hand he constantly fidgets with his shoulder length hair. Sometimes tugging it, sometimes sweeping it back, sometimes twirling it. He seems as unsure about himself for being at the bookstore as he is about his hair.
A girl with long black hair, black jeans, black sandals, a black top and a black book bag walks in with a sandwich, spots the empty table next to him, looks at him then back at the table. She sits down as if satisfied or interested. She proceeds to pull out a chair for another person, puts her bag down on it, repositions the other chair with the back to him and sits down.
The young man lifts his left hand from the chairback so as to avoid touching her back. He glances at her back briefly then leaves his hand as is. He looks away from his magazine and towards her, notices her panties worn high showing above her jeans. Nice, netted ones, he chuckles to himself and turns back to reading.
Once in a while, the girl looks over right shoulder, eating her sandwich, as if to make sure he’s not watching, or vice versa. She crosses her arms and hugs herself, indicating that she’s feeling cold. It’s chilly in here.
She gets up, steals a glance at the intriguing man next to her, smiles at herself and fishes out her sweatshirt. She gets up and goes in between the book shelves direcly facing him. She’s in the travel section. She takes a book titled “US National Parks”, flips though it and puts it back. She’s always wanted to go hiking. She hasn’t found time. She’s busy studying all the time. In fact she’s here preparing for her GRE, way before she’s graduating.
He notices her in front of him, glances up and smiles, quickly stops short of completing the smile noticing she’s not smiling. She then stretches her arm upwards. She pulls up her hair to tie into a knot. He watches, barely sure that it’s appropriate. She watches. She sits back down. Both of them turn back to pretend they are reading.
She wishes he would speak to her, say a few words, say hello. He wishes she would give him an opening, a smile.
After a while, the man turns left to her and says, “Excuse me, would you mind watching my bag for a bit?” She turns to him.
In the span of a second, he notices her eyes, deep blue, almost azure. Angular face, a deliciously pointed nose. Altogether not bad, not too bad at all.
She looks back at him, stares at him for a second. She notices his hair and the goatie he sports. Cute touch. She sees his necklace, his full lips and his somewhat chubby but likeable face. Really likeable. She smiles. Slowly she says, “Sure, I’ll be right here.”
a study in character
Gnarled fingers holding a book
trousers slopped over
once shining shoes
a brown coat to match
complete with sagging side pockets
perched on his nose
droopy eyes peering through
at pages he slowly but gingerly
flips with his other
Standing next to a book shelf
reassuredly trying to hold
his stooped pose
still showing that he can dress well
a folded safari hat drops
from his left coat pocket
he doesn’t notice the hat
staring at him
capturing a piece of him
down on my writing pad.
-by Lex Lapax (06/06/2004)