“Not like in a dirty and deceptive way, but in a way that invokes imagination. Just for this, it’s okay to stretch the truth a little. Rewrite history, imagine an alternate reality, or just plain lie. Whatever you do, have fun with this, and let us know (in your writing) how much you’re enjoying it.”
(Ugh, the prompts the past two days. Why. I don’t like making things up… that feels too much like that creative, character-driven story stuff that I’m not good at. “Have fun with this, and let us know how much you’re enjoying it.” Don’t tell me what to do.)
“How are you enjoying all this rain?”
I turned to face the man sitting two seats over from me in front of his computer. My mom and I had gone out for breakfast to Second Cup and had spent a nice morning sharing coffee and stories. She had just left from her seat across from me to head to the restroom, and this man had already complimented my sweater and how nice it looked on me–I sensed an impending conversation that I had no desire to be a part of. He had stopped his work and turned his whole body to fully face me.
I’m polite, though, and I managed a response back about being used to the rain because I’d grown up around here, which then segued into the classic, “So did you go to school around here?” Ever the polite girl that my mother raised me to be, I gritted my teeth, looked forward and threw out the even more classic, “You know, I was actually home schooled”, just in time for my mom to come back out and join me at the table. She came out and gave me a look, for good reason, since this man looked older than the both of us. Not surprisingly we both we ready to leave, so we gathered our things and headed for the door. “Goodbye, sir, and may I recommend literally any other woman in this place for small talk?” I saluted and headed out the door.
In this alternate world, I’m not the mild-mannered, ever polite girl who just sits through conversations with men that make me uncomfortable. The man that approached me and my baby sister in St. Petersburg with his hippie chakra material and forcibly insisted we purchase? I very forcibly counter-insisted that he take his solicitation elsewhere. The man outside of Starbucks who constantly reintroduces himself to me and stands too close? I tell him we’ve already met, that he’s standing too close to me and that it’s unnecessary. I tell anyone who makes me feel uncomfortable to stand down and I engage people when we’re don’t see eye to eye on situations. It’s important for me to be right, so I’ll even start discussions with people who are close-minded and slightly detached from reality. Just because I might not succeed doesn’t mean it’s not worth my energy. And honestly, most people are usually reasonable. They can usually see where I’m coming from and we have a nice back and forth exchange where we both grow together.
I’m thankful that I’m so direct.
But day twelve, guys. I’m happy about that, no lies.