I live on a small cul-de-sac lined with identical townhouses.Â I believe my landlord owns most of them.Â In the next building over, one hot and sweaty family put up an inflatable pool in their driveway. Here their children play, and more often, the adults sit with a six-pack and lounge through the evening while watching the people across the street.Â Those people, in turn, keep their garage door up most of the day so they can sit in their white plastic lawn chairs in the shade and view everyone else.
I stay inside mostly.Â Â I am an observer and do not wish to be observed.
The blue pool has been deflating, as of late.Â From time to time they pump it back up and refill.Â Being a pool owner requires a lot of maintenance.Â When I lived in Florida, I found this to be true.Â It must be grueling to have to check the chemical balance every time they re-inflate.Â It seems a losing battle, but they soldier on.
Today I pulled into my driveway to find the pool is winning the war.Â Undaunted, however, they have taken a bright yellow rope and tied it (somehow) to the side of the pool, then attached the other end to the hood of their car.Â In this way, one saggy side is bolstered up.Â The mom was in the pool on the “high” side, back pressed against the car bumper, the kids playing on the other side.Â From my vantage point, I could see no water — though I’m sure a few inches must’ve been in there, or what was the point?Â I can’t imagine they would be sitting on a sheet of plastic on concrete while pretending to cool off.Â I hope not, anyway.
God love ’em, their little portable radio was twanging out country music loud enough to share with the rest of us.Â Of course it was.
What does any of this have to do with writing?Â Two things.Â First, I just had to be snarky about it on the internet because I’m that kind of person.
But second, and more importantly, characters come from all around us.Â It reminded me why I write.Â It’s the odd and the everyday coming together in some new and remarkable way that sparks a new story, a new piece of dialogue, a new character.Â I forget to take notes a lot of the time, but I still take in what I see.Â You never know when it might be useful and get regurgitated back onto the page.
On a side note, I drove past a llama standing in a rowboat yesterday.Â No, seriously.Â I have no idea where he thought he was going since the boat was sitting several yards from the water.Â Â I think the fact that I did not immediately pull over and take a picture might be the first real regret of my life.
And one last thing.Â Thanks for all the wonderful spam I’m getting in my comments!Â I’m really touched at the amount of traffic I’m receiving.Â Keep it up!