memory / men / neurotic thinking / writing

Then again, it might’ve been like this…

The thing about last week, about last Tuesday and the boundary challenged fellow in the coffee shop, is that it was an unusual day already. No. That’s too dramatic.

But there was a tiny incident. I believe I said no one ever hits on me. And this is true. I mean, really.

But earlier that same day, I was putting gas in my car, when a man came over to me and handed me a business card. “Hello, ma’am,” he said. “I do tree removal.” The large, well-cared for truck was parked nearby. Before he could explain more, I said, “Oh well, I live in an apartment, so it wouldn’t be of much use to me.”

He looked disappointed, but he smiled. “All right, then.”

“I know people with houses though. Tell you what–I’ll keep the card and pass it on,” I said.

“Thank you.” He brightened. “And I’m single,” he said.

I laughed. “Ah. But I’m not.”

We both laughed. He wished me a good day and he went on his way, and I finished pumping gas.

Why tell a story? Why tell this story and not that story? To look smart, good, kind, better?

After this exchange at the gas station, I got in my car, and I thought–wow, someone hit on me…wait…maybe not…maybe I misunderstood. Oh well. That’s okay.

But why tell the story at all? What stories are we supposed to tell and why do we tell them? A small insignificant story…

What stories are we supposed to be telling?

8 thoughts on “Then again, it might’ve been like this…

  1. What stories? The most entertaining ones, that’s all. Think of the ancient bards, traveling along, going town to town. They were heroes to the people! There was no written word then, so stories were passed along by word of mouth. I always think of writers as carrying on in that tradition. πŸ™‚

    I suspect you’ve been “hit on” far more than you realize too, you just never learned how to read the signs. Men do seem to have a language all their own. πŸ™‚

  2. When you tell a story it’s interesting, regardless of the subject matter. I sort of think we choose our stories according to what we need to focus on at that time, even if it doesn’t seem to have any meaning on the surface. Or maybe there’s some fate mixed in there, too, so that the story you tell draws the people who will tell you what you need to hear, or those who need to hear your particular wisdom.

    You just keep writing them, and we’ll keep reading them.

  3. I like your stories, if that matters to you. Not that it should, but I think you tell a good story and I think you’re going to make a fantastic author when you get published.

    I wouldn’t know what it’s like to get hit on. Like I said, after fifth grade, I can count the times on one hand, with three fingers tied to my palm. This one was far less creepy though.

    • Thank you, Darc. It does matter. I mean, if you hated my stories, I’d still write them, but every bit of liking helps.

      Honestly, getting hit on has always just confused me.

  4. Someplace recently, I was reading about what makes us notice one thing instead of another. (But darned if I can remember where. Guess I didn’t notice, ha.) It mentioned, for example, that pregnant women are X times more likely than women who aren’t to notice other pregnant women; the phenomenon of buying a new car of a make and model unfamiliar to you, only to suddenly start seeing that make and model everywhere… Incidents like that.

    (I think the article might have been a psychic-phenomenon debunking piece — claiming, e.g., that predictions seem remarkably accurate only because we notice the similarities, not the differences, between what we or someone else says MIGHT happen and what actually DOES happen.)

    Maybe you’d have already forgotten the tree guy if the incident with the Joe’s guy hadn’t been so strikingly weird?

    (The economy is doing strange things to people in home-building and -maintenance businesses. I can actually believe Tree Guy didn’t mean it as a real flirt, but as an awkward attempt to be liked — and remembered — should someone you know need tree work done.)

    Anyway, what makes us write X instead of Y may be just a matter of X’s suddenly jumping out of the crowd of stories jostling for our attention — because of X-related incidents in our real lives or dreams, say, or a song we heard on the radio that morning but no longer remember, or a scrap of conversation we don’t realize we overheard at a street fair over the weekend…

    Or maybe it’s fate. πŸ™‚

    • It is like learning a word you think you’ve never heard before and then you hear it everywhere. I’ve read how people can be primed to notice certain things and not notice others. Scary sometimes.

      I didn’t really take the tree guy seriously. I felt he was just trying his best to drum up some business and said the first striking thing that came to mind. For all I know he was asking me to help find him a date, not be his date. I probably would’ve forgotten tree guy if it hadn’t been for the Joe’s guy. Aurgh.

      Everything seems like fate after the fact, but I think that’s a trick of the mind too.

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