Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
Pantera is the name of a metal band from Texas, and it’s scrawled across his t-shirt. He gruffly approaches the Information Desk. His girlfriend stands at his side with elaborate tattoos and piercings. Then the Pantera supporter begins sweetly requesting something from the antique lady sitting at the Booth. She has a binder and a telephone. His girlfriend has a smartphone, a cheetah-print backpack, and an impatient look on her face. Yet, the young man has his attention focused on the elderly assistant while she hunts for an answer. She can’t seem to find what she’s seeking in the printed pages before her. She lifts the telephone receiver very, very slowly. The girlfriend begins to search on her phone as well. Perhaps it is a sort of race, but it’s clear that Pantera is rooting for the oldster. There’s a long pause before the girlfriend is about to speak, but the elderly Info Lady interrupts to point them in the right direction.
Pantera lights up completely when the lady wins–when paper and a telephone beats the Internet. His face rises, he shrugs sideways, he pulls in his arms. He looks like he must have when he was a child, when small things delighted him, when he didn’t listen to metal music and walk with an obligatory strut. He smiles at the older lady, thanking her with a grin. As he turns away he keeps the expression, basking in the way things used to be.