Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
I’m watching an older man in a patterned shirt–some sort of Earth-toned hexagons–eating his dinner with one hand while holding his cell phone in the other. As I’m taking notes and a young boy at the next table starts stealing glances at my notebook. He has his hair slicked the way boys have their hair slicked for movies set in the 1950s. His little brother wears a vest and a tie, but this boy wears a t-shirt, striped knee socks, and shorts. It’s winter, but he’s obviously counter-cultural and counter-climate. He is with his mother and an older woman, and they each take turns opening late Christmas presents. He gets more socks, which delights him. This mother opens a package, “Mom, what is it?”
“A make-up bag,” she holds up the floral zippered pouch.
“Oh, that’s nice!” The boy says it kindly, with a smile toward the giver. He means it. He is grateful and engaged.
I am wondering if I can live in Colorado as I have lived in Turkey. Will I need to learn to write these stories again? Can I find the good in the familiar? The novel things jump out at me when a travel, so when I am home, can I keep my eyes open? I want to find these moments wherever I am.
The boy and I glance at each other out of the corners of our eyes. I suppose I have managed it here, to record his long hug to the gift-giver, how he picks up the wrapping paper his brother has dropped, how he looks after everyone and adjusts his striped socks. He gave me a gift by interrupting my notes, so he has been helpful in this case as well.