I have seen a great many strange things during the Pandemic, but nothing more strange than what I saw today.
I was in town running errands and kept seeing a young woman wearing practically nothing wandering around clutching a sheaf of papers. No backpack, water bottle, energy drink or cigarette. Just the papers. Odd indeed.
She wore a spaghetti strap black top that barely covered her breasts. She had on faded jeans that barely covered half her ass and revealed pink panties. There was a wide expanse of bleached skin about her chest and stomach that she occasionally rubbed as she walked. Her hair was black and short.
But those papers! What were they about?
I ducked into the bookstore to work. I emerged 45 minutes later and she was across the road moving at a rapid pace. I went to my favorite Oregon Tavern Age joint for my customary noon beer and to work on a short story.
A few minutes later, the woman appeared right outside the window of the bar. I was sitting at my usual table and got a closeup look at her face. There and not there.
But I also got a look at the sheaf of papers. They were printed out and annotated here and there with editing marks and arrows going everywhere.
I’ve written enough books and read enough manuscripts to know those markings were scrawled on a manuscript. Jesus! Was she a writer? Had she written a shot story or begun a novel or composed a 50-page stream of consciousness?
I was shocked and puzzled. I didn’t know what to think. I shouldn’t have been thinking. I should have ran out of the bar and asked her about the papers, but I didn’t because a brain lock seized my humanity.
Ten minutes later I unlocked and knew I had blown a great story and interaction during the Pandemic. I just know I’ll never see her again and get to read her words.