The Nice Thing About Strangers

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

Acquiesce (and Check, please)

The young couple sits together on the same side of the booth. The boy tries to teach his completely beautiful girlfriend how to play chess–or not how to play, precisely, but he tries to explain the idea of it, the concept of chess. She keeps reaching for the board, for the patient pieces, but he won’t let her make a move. So she holds her brow to demonstrate her concentration, but keeps giggling and looking out the window like she’s ready to leave.

At the next table, another woman impatiently waits, and she wants her impatience evident to everyone. She is not meant to sit alone. Her face drawn into various creases, she taps her foot in a twitch, covers her mouth with her hand, checks her cell phone, tugs her sleeves over her palms so only her fingers extend to the objects around her.  She keeps gazing at the door, at the clock, away from the waiter. She refuses to even ponder the menu while unaccompanied.

A tall, slender man stops at the entryway and gazes into the dark of the café.

The impatient woman melts, silently and suddenly forgives him, drops her arms to her sides and lets a slow smile dawn on her now smooth face.  He enters casually, as if perfectly on time–and perhaps he is. He orders their coffees. She beams.

At the chessboard, the young girl lets her head fall back as she groans. And her boyfriend, shy and obedient, slides away the untouched game.

–Vienna, Austria.

Secession, Wien, Vienna, travel grafitti, Vienna, Wien, travel

7 comments on “Acquiesce (and Check, please)

  1. Due Judd
    January 15, 2013

    I enjoy reading your observations of people, just going about their daily lives, presumably oblivious to the observer in their midst!

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      January 16, 2013

      Thanks so much! I do try to keep a low profile–sometimes the notebook goes unnoticed, but not always… 🙂

  2. Ned's Blog
    January 15, 2013

    Simple, beautiful moments — captured simply beautifully.

  3. moi du toi photography
    January 16, 2013

    Hey there! Thanks so much for stopping by and following my blog. I have read some of your posts find your writing is so unpretentious, I really like it. You can tell by your work that you find humans as fascinating as I find animals. Keep writing!♥

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      January 16, 2013

      Thanks so much! I love that cat-tail photo of yours! I do have a few stories about animals…but very few. I’ll have to go to you for those!

  4. Captured beautifully. I love the emotions played out so cleverly with your usage of words alone. Keep on painting those pictures.

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