“Hey honey,” said a man in an alley we were walking by.
Now, I’m an expert at pretending not to notice things. This is not always a good skill, but it comes in handy when strangers shout things from dark places. My friends, L & J, however, turned and looked down the alley; consequently, they were the ones to give the intimate description of the man to the police.
It was L’s idea to call the police. I’d encountered the local police before and was in no hurry to do so again, but I told her it was a great idea to call. Then a police officer showed up at our apartment, and after he listened to her describe the flasher, he said, “Guess you didn’t see anything you liked.” And he laughed in a way that a man you’re are counting on shouldn’t.
In real life I notice a thousand things but acknowledge few. I can pretend no one in the room made an unfortunate sound, that no one threw out an insult, that an argument didn’t happen next to me, that someone didn’t tell a lie. But fiction requires that you look. That you acknowledge. Even that you get closer. In my writing I feel that I am still not close enough to be a good writer, but far enough away to stay sane. There has got to be a way to do both. Right?
What scenes do you find hardest to write?