The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

To Health

In a café on the Dalmatian coast, a middle-aged waitress leans on the bar and takes coffee and unceasing cigarettes for breakfast. The music on the radio is lively so she snaps it off.

There are three customers already there, but they have ordered and been served, so they no longer exist. She fixes her makeup in the mirror behind her, puts her hair up, hoists a serious look.  She reads a newspaper and makes faces at the news. Sometimes she stares out where the sea should be. The fog is so heavy in the morning that one could easily forget the water is there.

Out in the haze, a man in a boat sneezes. Twice. The woman whispers “Na zdravlje” over her ashtray. A blessing he can’t hear for a man she can’t see. She turns a bored gaze to the empty entryway then turns the back music on. Louder this time.

-Okrug Gornji, Croatia.

Croatian beach

9 comments on “To Health

  1. Steven Wordsmith Lincoln
    November 4, 2011

    I view each of these as the beginning (maybe the middle, possibly the end) of a foreign film. If I had any script writing ability, I might take a chance on seeing if my vision holds to. Thanks for an interesting start to my work day!

  2. thenicethingaboutstrangers
    November 7, 2011

    Thanks so much, Steve! Maybe as a photographer you could make them into images! It may be hard to photograph a sneeze and a blessing, I know, but photographers can make subtle things seem much more complicated.

    I will work to keep your morning coffee foreign. 🙂

  3. thenicethingaboutstrangers
    January 22, 2014

    Reblogged this on The Nice Thing About Strangers and commented:

    This was one of my early stories, and almost no one has seen it. Now I hope someone will. 🙂

  4. M. R.
    January 22, 2014

    Yes … why not get out the things missed when your followers weren’t yet assembled? This is a terrific set of images: but I’d call it a BITSTORY. You know, like bitcoins? 😉

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      January 22, 2014

      Oh, I know bitcoins! A good friend has made a killing on bitcoins. 🙂

      It’s also been interesting for me to see how my style has sort of changed over the years. Thanks for reading it, M.R.!

      • M. R.
        January 22, 2014

        I should dearly like to persuade writers not to thank me: I point out that I do it because I want to. But apparently the thanking is netiquette. Sighh … Anyway. I’m currently reading some of your other writings, and finding that you have an excellent and identifiable style. Good on you!

      • thenicethingaboutstrangers
        January 22, 2014

        Oh boy, well….I’m not allowed to thank you, but you know I want to do it… 🙂 It is nice to have kind readers.

  5. Nia Simone
    January 22, 2014

    Very good!

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This entry was posted on November 4, 2011 by in Blogging, Europe, Happiness, Inspiration, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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