Monday, October 1, 2012

Don't Even Go There!

The weather was incredible yesterday, overcast, breezy and 75 degrees. It reminded me of all the times we sat on a bench overlooking Lake Carlyle, walking around the camp circle or riding our bikes across the dam. Those fall campfires and camping weekends collected in my mind like a bunch of comfy socks wadded up in a suitcase. Maybe it's because yesterday when we finished breakfast at Cracker Barrel, we walked next door to a camper dealer and browsed...remembering when. No, we don't want to go back. We like the outdoors, but appreciate a real sized shower and softer bed these days.
One year we had tugged our camper to the Lake of the Ozarks. Next to us there was a man about fifty who moped around. I told Bill that I thought he was recently divorced or widowed. Bill said, "You and your writer's mind!"

That evening around a campfire, the guy spilled his life story and everything I had suggested flickered like ashes. When we climbed into bed, Bill asked how I knew. I think I am intuitive, nothing more.

We saw a young fellow with a preschool boy pull in and set up his tent across from us on Wednesday. He had a roaring campfire going that evening, and sometime early in the morning he roared off in his pickup truck and didn't return. Not that night, or the next. I strolled over to his tent and glanced in the camp fire where I noticed a singed and torn letter. I read what I could. It was obviously a Dear John.
"I bet he committed suicide."

"Then where's his truck?" the thinker who should have been a cop asked.
"I don't know, but it smells bad over there, and I'll bet he's dead in that tent."

"Stay out of other people's campsites and rest your writer's mind."
I couldn't. For three days I pondered as the stench grew worse.

"I'm going to tell the conservation agent when he comes around."
"Tell him what?"

We debated endlessly and then, Saturday night, the guy came roaring back in his pickup truck. I watched him unzip the tent and run to the dumpster with a pack of rotten uncooked hamburger.

"See? See!" my honey grinned with superiority.

I saw.

But I still think that having a writer's eye/mind comes in handy, sometimes. How about you?
Are you intuitive? Do you create scenarios about strangers?


Pearl said...

Oh, I love it.

My response to reality is always "I like my version better".



BECKY said...

You definitely have the writer's mind, Linda....and I've been an observer of how you attract the "off beat" kind of people! LOL
But I'm VERY glad the man hadn't committed suicide!

Bookie said...

Great post...and yes, I construct stories about people around me. Going to church---that was a real problem! Sometimes I am WAY wrong too. :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, I do, Linda.
My hubby is an avid TV watcher. I am not. He could NOT believe it when we were dating and I told him if I watched TV at night and got too sleepy, I'd just make up my own ending, which was always happy, and go to sleep!

Sioux Roslawski said...

I agree with Pearl. When I spin stories about people, my version is much more interesting than the reality.

Kim Lehnhoff said...

I had an hour to kill and sat at the library and imagined the life of one of woman who was browsing for books. Wrote it all down, from her June Cleaver hairdo to the single gin and tonic she'd be having promptly at six pm as she sat in her pristine yet lonely living room, her novel her only companion. If it was a national holiday, then her children would make the obligatory phone call to check on her.

I'm convinced she drove home in a late model Buick that her late doctor-husband picked out - far too big for her now, but she kept it because it reminded her of happier times.

Lynn said...

Glad I'm not the only one who thinks things... some end up true and then, like you, some don't.

Susan said...

Oh boy, Linda. I'm so glad that was hamburger meat and not a person that was stinking up the campground.

To answer your question, oh yes, I am definitely intuitive. I constantly create all kinds of scenarios about strangers as well as friends and family. ha!

Sometimes I'm on the money and sometimes, way off the beam.

Thanks for the chuckle. Susan

Val said...

Sometimes I get a flash from somebody in the store. Not THAT kind of flash. An intuitive scenario about the reason for their mood. I try to put it out of my mind. I really DON'T want to go there. It's usually sad.

I was born without a fiction bone.

Lauralew said...

I wrote a short story about a woman who was in front of me in the grocery line, then as soon as she was about to be rung up, suddenly tossed everything back into her cart from the checkout counter and ran back into the store. You HAVE to do something with that!

Mevely317 said...

I'd have been right there with ya, Linda!

And ... guilty as charged. I'm an unashamed "people watcher" and often weave plot-lines, the likes of which make my hubby just shake his head.

Karen Lange said...

Oh I agree, you never know when that writer's mind will come in handy. :) Glad that the guy wasn't really dead. At least your mind got some exercise in the process!

Terri Tiffany said...

LOL always! I love to watch people especially in airports and a story always emerges in my mind about them. I sometimes regret having my plane called as I can't see the ending!

Susan Sundwall said...

I memorize faces - and boy, what that does to a writer's mind. And, yes, your version was movie worthy and hubby's? Not so much. The rotten hamburger was a Chevy Chase moment though. LOL

Tammy said...

I've always thought intuition and writing go hand in hand. But oh, was I ever on the edge of my seat with your rotten hamburger story! That one would be great around a campfire. What I want to know is, what was he up to those days he was gone? Did anyone check what happened to the writer of that letter?! Maybe camping was his alibi. And what happened to the preschooler??

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Intuition is great if we follow it. I'm guilty of ignoring my intuition and I always regret it.