Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What do you image--Lenora Worth

I'm headed to the grocery store. That's always such fun, isn't it? I knew it was time when I decided to have a mini-omelet and discovered we were out of eggs. Then I decided I'd have some wheat bread toast and a piece of low-fat cheese, only to discover that someone had eaten all of my low-fat cheese. Hmmm. Okay, maybe a banana. Yes, we have no bananas today! No grapes, and one puny apple. No strawberries, either. I need a valet!

But not to worry. As much as I dread walking into that big superstore, I dread even worse having no chocolate in the house. Why is it when you're trying to eat less, you just want more? Anyway, I decided I'd make this a fun trip. I'll use my imagination in the produce aisle. The woman with the white fur hat--I'm guessing she used to live in Russia. Maybe she was a spy. Now she's settled in the deep south and is enjoying this cold spell, so she pulled out her pretty fur hat that the tall, dark and handsome American man gave her once when they thought they were in love.

The little boy smiling at me from a buggy that is blocking the bread aisle--he's about to enter pre-school and he's afraid but he can't tell his mommy that because she goes on and on about what fun he'll have and all the new friends he'll make. But she doesn't see that hint of fear in his smile. I wink at him, hoping to give him some confidence.

And finally, the pretty woman in the book section, looking around for that latest bestseller--she's lonely because her husband is off fighting a war and even though she misses him, she is a romantic at heart so she believes she will be with him again one day. They will have the life they always planned, with a beautiful cottage in a quiet neighborhood, a fluffy dog and a beautiful baby or two. She picks up a book, reads the back cover then looks up at me as she drops the book into her buggy.
Everything will be all right.

I finish my shopping, secure and happy with my chocolate and bananas. In the check-out aisle, I get in line behind the Russian lady. She takes our her wallet to pay, but stops to look at an aged picture of a dark-haired man. I give her some privacy by turning to smile again at the pre-schooler who is now holding a toy soldier in his hand. Behind him and his frazzled mother, I see the young woman who is buying the paperback novel and as our eyes meet in understanding, I thank God that I am able to use my imagination every day--at the grocery store and when I sit down to write my little stories.

Now, that wasn't so bad, was it?

8 comments:

Lenora said...

Well, duh. The title should be "What do you imagine?"

Bet you're getting an "image", right??

Ramona Richards said...

You do know that other people don't do this, right? That was a HUGE shock to me when a friend let me in on that secret. I can't IMAGINE a day that I don't fill with stories about the people I meet.

Psst...love the woman in the fur hat.

Leann said...

Lenora, what you need is a wife. I often wish for one.

Barbara Phinney said...

Lenora, I have a mother in law with wayyy more imagination than me. She often notices things that are fodder for my stories.
I like watching people in airports, wondering where they're going.

Margaret Daley said...

Barbara, I have a mother in law who hasn't met a stranger. By the time she is through talking to them she knows their life history.

Lenora said...

Yes, I'm sure a lot of people do this, Ramona. I do it when traveling and waiting in airports or sitting in restaurants. I notice things other people never see. Once when we were in a Waffle House Vicksburg, Mississippi, at six in the morning on New Year's Day, a distinguished older man walked in wearing a tuxedo. I thought "I have to put that in a book! And I did. But in the book "Lacey's Retreat" he was younger and he'd been stabbed. He was bleeding all over his tuxedo and he fell into my heroine's lap in the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. See how my imagine goes wild! And yes, Leann, I do need a wife. My house boy has been lagging behind lately!

Cara Putman said...

I do that all the time, too. Imagining the backstories...

PamelaTracy said...

The airport is my favorite place to stare at people.

And there is a short story called "I Need a Wife." It's wonderful.