WHAT I NOTICED AFTER I NOTICED EVERYTHING IN MY SURROUNDINGS.
I was challenged to observe my surroundings and then write about something
I didn't notice at first. I thought the assignment futile because as a writer, wherever I go I try to notice everything around me because that's what writers do.
So I sat with friends in my favorite little restaurant and listened to the combo provided for the evening's entertainment. There were two young men who performed. One was short and one was tall. One with long hair and one with hair closely cropped, they looked like a modern day version of Simon and Garfunkel. They strummed their guitars made of maple-looking wood as they sang for their supper.
The tables where we sat were square - no tablecloths - just medium bare wood tops with a darker wood trim strip around the edges. The four wood chairs around each table had low backs and scooped seats that encouraged diners to enjoy the food, but not stay too long to make room for more customers.
When I looked down I noticed some specks on the rust colored cement floor and wondered if they were crumbs from a former patron, but they were only minute, irregular chips in the painted floor. Relieved by my astute attention to detail I settled back to scan the menu.
The lighting was dim - a dim dinner for discriminating guests - and on each table a candle with an everburning tealight at the base added neighborly ambiance. A small vase of lily-looking flowers, a burnished rectangular metal holder for crackers, salt and pepper shakers, and yet another metal basket that held multicolored packets of sugar and sugar substitutes crowded the the center of the table's surface, leaving just enough space for the waiter to provide the necessry plates, napkins, flatware, and glasses required for the meal.
The cafe doors were left open to the evening's cool breezes, but not so cool as to chill the steaming dishes placed before us. My overall impression was one of comfort and companionship that comes of enjoying a meal with friends in a pleasant situation. And I thought I had seen all that was to see. I had noticed everything in my surroundings, leaving nothing to be noted at second glance.
And that's when the "Lady from Banbury Cross" made her entrance and all eyes in the room turned to observe. I doubt she parked a white horse outside, but dressed all in silver, she definitely had rings on her fingers and I'm betting there were bells on her toes. Her right hand bore three rings while multiple bangles dangled from her delicate wrist. The left hand displayed yet two more rings and that wrist successfully balanced a silver cuff bracelet, complete with a monstrous dark stone plunked smack in the center that screamed, "If you don't do what I want, I'll CUFF you." To top it all off, she completed her outfit with an irridescent silver bomber jacket. Once the impact of her entrance was taken into full account I felt a fashion citation was defintely in order.
This exercise proved that just when you think you've seen it all, wait and look around. You never know what may be coming next.