Tag Archives: lunch

Lunch in the Park

Photographs (besides the typewriter and note) by the amazing and talented Sandra Markovic, whose work can be seen here.

Lunch in the park was Trevor’s daily ritual. He needed the break from his job at the library, even though it was fairly peaceful. He was a lover of the outdoors and it called to him, so every day he stopped at the café, ordered the same meal (mozzarella and tomato Panini, chips and an unsweetened iced tea) and ventured to the park.

It wasn’t until about a week ago that he first saw her. As he watched her pass, he couldn’t believe that the world failed to stop and take notice of her beauty. Nobody seemed to notice this perfect being as she passed; children continued to play, an old man kept feeding the pigeons, cars passed by as if nothing were happening, and only he seemed to notice this absolutely remarkable girl, a miracle, really, making her way past him through the park. She was wearing a flowing vintage yellow dress, and she carried a heavy looking suitcase that she carefully placed on the grass. The lid came off to expose a typewriter, of all things. Trevor hadn’t seen one since, well he hadn’t ever seen one in real life. He was drawn to her immediately. She sat and looked at it, marveling at its structure, but didn’t type a word.  She played with her long brown hair, feigned pushing a key or two, but no actual typing commenced.

It was another day or two before she showed up again, this time in jeans and a vintage Rolling Stones t-shirt, again with the typewriter. She placed it in the grass, opened it, and this time loaded it with paper and began to type. She was slow at first, as if she were just learning how to use it. Her long blonde hair glimmered in the bright sun, and he spent his whole lunch break looking at her and eating his meal.

Today was the third time she showed up, and Trevor’s heart sped up a bit, his pulse quickened as he saw her approaching yet again. Today, a plaid dress was her outfit of choice, and simple black flip flops. Her figure was perfectly visible in the tight dress, and he gasped a bit at the sight of her beauty. Again, she sat in the grass, same spot, and began her slow, methodic typing. She put in a piece of green paper, browning at the edges from age, and punched key after key as she worked hard on something. Trevor, on a nearby bench, was close enough to hear her make a tiny growl as she grasped the top of the paper and yanked it out of the typewriter, making the fast clicking sound as she pulled. She crumpled it up and started at it again.

After a few tries, all ending in a balled up piece of old green paper, she looked at her watch, closed the typewriter and gathered the balls of paper. As she walked by the trashcan right next to Trevor, so close that he could smell the flowery perfume she wore, she threw the failures into the trashcan, continuing on without so much as a glance towards the receptacle, the bench, or Trevor. If she had, she would have noticed one of the wads hit the rim of the trashcan and bounced onto Trevor’s lap. He waited until she was out of sight, picked it up, and opened it with great care. It said:

Trevor gasped a bit. He knew what he had to do.

The next day, as the mysterious typewriter girl walked towards her usual spot, Trevor was already there, a blanket covering the area where she always sat. She stopped and he sensed her behind him looking at him, so he turned to face her, noticing a fitted striped tee shirt dress with black leggings and a black cardigan.

“Hi. I’m Trevor,” his voice shaking a bit.

“Hello. I’m Victoria. But my friends call me Tor.”

He stood up and put out his hand. She took it and he held it a bit too long as he shook it. She smiled.

“Would you care to join me? I have a picnic lunch.” He smiled his biggest, warmest smile, and she felt a little tingle run up the back of her neck.

“Sure,” as she fumbled with the typewriter and her bag, trying to put both on the ground without making a scene. She sat and he did as well, facing her from across the basket.

“I have paninis,” he said.

“I love those, especially tomato and mozzarella.” His eyes widened, but he tried to play it cool.

“Oh, good. That’s what I brought,” a simple, nervous smile. He passed her a wrapped parcel, which she opened with great care. He did the same, then held out a diet cola and a tea, and she pointed to the cola.

“Thanks, this is so nice of you Trevor. But why?”

He froze for a second or two, then responded. “I come here every day, see you here a lot lately, and thought I would say hi. I love your typewriter,” he said, nodding towards her suitcase.

“Thanks,” she said, blushing a bit. “It was my grandmother’s, and I found it and thought it might inspire me. She always said she’d met my grandfather because of it, but I never really heard the full story. All I know is how it ended.”

He smiled. “Wow, that’s pretty neat. What are you trying to do with it?”

“I’m a writer. Or I want to be. I thought, maybe, that it would inspire a great novel. So far, it’s only created junk that I’ve thrown out.”

“Maybe you should keep trying,” he replied. She smiled.

“With the typewriter?”

“Well, however you can. You’re a great writer. You can do it, I’ll bet.”

She raised an eyebrow, and he realized he slipped up. “Er, I mean, I’m sure you’re a great writer. I mean, I can tell, you know? You seem pretty amazing, from where I’m sitting.”

Her smile returned. “You’re sweet, Trevor.” Hearing her say his name kept made his heart jump, and he reacted a bit. “What?”

He blushed. “Nothing. How’s the sandwich?” She smiled and nodded, her mouth full when he asked.

They continued eating a bit, chatting until the sandwiches were done and his lunch break was almost over. He looked at his watch, and in doing so caused her eyes to widen and grow sad.

“Do you have to go?”

“I’m on my lunch break, so yes, in a few. Why?”

She shifted her weight and smiled, looking down at the blanket.

“Will I see you again?”

“Of course, if you want to,” he said with a huge smile.

She looked up and whispered, “I like you, Trevor.”

He turned and saw that she was looking down at the blanket, so he leaned towards her and rested his weight on one hand. “Hey Tor?”

She looked up, and her eyes looked at him as if he were far, far away and she couldn’t wait to see him again, except that he wasn’t, he was right there, and he was leaning in towards her, bringing his lips towards hers, and as her eyes grew even wider, excited, her upper lip quivered just the tiniest bit in anticipation as he came closer and closer until-

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Sunglasses and Rubber Boots

I sat on the park bench reading, and she came up and sat next to me. I probably wouldn’t have noticed her if it were not for the rubber boots shooting into my peripheral view as I looked down at the novel.

They were bright blue, but that wasn’t what attracted my attention. I looked up at the shining sun and had to shield my eyes from it, even with my dark sunglasses on. It was a scorcher, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

I looked over at her and smiled, she smiled back, but I couldn’t see her eyes through her dark aviators. She looked to be about twenty, wore a bright white and blue print dress and had nice legs. She had a vintage umbrella propped up against the bench next to her, and a little plaid satchel out of which she pulled a sandwich and an apple.

I tried to focus on my book but could not. Why the rubber boots? It was a perfect day, a bright blue cloudless sky backing up my thoughts as I looked around to see the other people in the park going about their busy lives. Not a single one carried an umbrella or wore boots; as a matter of fact none were prepared for any sort of rain at all.

I wanted to ask her, and was about to when a ringing came from her pocket and she pulled out a cell phone.

“Hello?” she said in a Danish accent, and I decided this was fate, I was not meant to inquire about her footwear. Instead I placed my book back into my messenger bag and went on my way, only to find that five minutes later, a sudden darkened sky opened up and rained down on me and the many other unprepared people on the streets. I pulled into a coffee shop for shelter, and before a minute passed the girl skipped by, dry under her umbrella, her boots protecting her feet from the massive flooding that was taking place, and her sunglasses nowhere to be seen.

Words sunglasses and rubber boots and photograph by Christina  Mølholm of And the Monsters fame.

Blind Date

I walked up to our regular table in the bland office cafeteria to find Darlene and Shauna deep in conversation. I pulled out a chair and quietly joined them.

“…so I thought of you right away,” finished Darlene.

“I’m not even looking to date, though,” Shauna responded.

Darlene sighed, rolled her eyes, and gave her a look. “I met him at a Walmart… how bad could he be?”

Shauna shifted in her seat and finally recognized the fact that I sat down.

“Hey, how’s it going?”

“Good. They were out of tuna salad. What’s going on?”

“Darlene met some random guy at the Walmart the other day, struck up a conversation with him, and then decided he was my dream guy.”

Darlene frowned. “He’s good looking, and has a job!”

“What’s his job? I won’t date another landscaper…”

“He’s got some office job, not sure. But he’s good looking!”

“Does he have red hair? Because I don’t want to date someone with red hair.”

“I already told you, his hair is brown. And no, before you ask, he’s not balding.”

Shauna looked at me. “She actually asked the guy if he thought he would bald eventually. With me right there on the phone. Can you believe that?”

I shook my head no and I brushed my hand through my own hair, wondering.

“Then she handed me the phone, and I had what was probably the most awkward conversation in my life.”

“He’s nice!” she added. “I would date him if I weren’t already married to Pete.”

“Does he have a lisp or a limp?” Shauna asked.

“Huh?”

“DOES HE HAVE A LISP OR A LIMP? I won’t date a guy who has either.”

“You talked to him, did it sound like he had a lisp?” she asked.

“No, but still.”

“No. To both. No limp, no lisp.”

“Wait,” I broke in. “What if he had a limp, but it was only temporary?” Shauna looked at me like I was crazy. “Like if he stubbed his toe, like an hour ago. Or that time I sprained my ankle. I had a limp, but it wasn’t permanent…”

Shauna looked away from me and back to Darlene. “Okay let me ask you this. Does he look like he would spend a lot of time playing Modern Warfare? Because I’ve done that already… I do not want to date someone else who plays video games ninety percent of the time.”

Darlene shook her head. “I don’t think so. I didn’t ask…”

“Is he a Trekkie?”

“A what?”

“Star Trek! Does he look like he would watch a lot of weird TV shows?”

“I think he watches Lost. Is that similar?”

I couldn’t believe I was hearing this conversation. It seemed scary to experience a woman’s thought process as she decided if someone is date-worthy. I wondered if all women thought this way, or if this was just Shauna’s perspective. I did secretly love Lost, but I wasn’t sure which way she leaned on that topic.

“Darlene, come on. Do you think he’s crazy?”

“Crazy how?”

“Crazy crazy, you know. Is he a creeper?”

“What’s a creeper?”

“Someone creepy.”

“Would I set you up with someone creepy?

“I don’t know. Is he creepy?”

Darlene sighed again and took a bite of her sandwich to keep from answering.

“You do have to be careful with crazy,” I blurted, trying to fill in the quiet. “I once dated a girl who wouldn’t let me look at her in the morning.”

All eyes pointed towards me like a lobster had just crawled out of my pants.

“What?” they both said.

“She had some sort of mental thing… she’d spend an hour in the bathroom every morning before I could look at her.”

Awkward silence.

“Body dysmorphic disorder! That’s what it’s called.”

Still staring at me.

“Although sometimes I think she spent most of the time in the bathroom crying…”

I should probably shut up.

“What?”

“That’s… that’s really crazy, Ben. That can’t have been a good relationship.”

I looked down at my food. “It was okay.”

Darlene surprised me. “So that means there was no morning sex? Damn, I love morning sex. What a great way to start the day.”

Now all eyes were on her.

“What?”

“TMI, Darlene,” Shauna said.

“What’s TMI?”

We both rolled our eyes.

Darlene continued. “Didn’t he add you on Facebook?”

I looked up. I didn’t even know Shauna had a Facebook. Why wasn’t I her friend on there?

“Yup.”

“Then you saw his pictures. He has some up, right?”

“Yeah… but pictures… I dunno…”

I broke in. “People always pick the ones they look best in, and sometimes they are lies.  The photos could be old, or even someone else! Or just from a good angle. I once had this Internet date and the girl…”

“Okay, stop right there,” interrupted Darlene. “He’s not a bad looking guy in real life. Okay? Can you take my word for it?”

No response.

“Well anyway, the guy doesn’t have a limp or a lisp, he has a full head of not-red hair, and as far as I know he’s not a sci-fi nerd or a Trekkie or anything else but a normal guy.”

“Except he shops at Walmart.”

“Except for that, yes.”

“I don’t shop at Walmart,” I said. I thought about just shutting up, since every single thing I said got me odd looks.

Darlene picked up her tray. “Okay, I’m done. I’ve got to get back to the office; we’re buried in work up there. Have a nice date tonight!”

Shauna and I waved goodbye.

“You’re going out with him tonight?”

Shauna nodded.

“Well… good luck?”

She nodded again.

“How long have you known Darlene?”

“Five days?”