Friday, February 02, 2007

Content but left empty

I left work at 5:00 pm sharp. Hoping to miss some of the Friday rush and be able to work with the traffic as the snow blows in and around.

I stopped by the gas station to fill up before the weekend. At least the damage isn't as bad as it had been in the past. But the oil companies are still getting massive profits. I guess I am a bit jealous. As I pulled into the lane, I slid in front of a car already filling up. I slid out of the warm car and swiped my cards and began to fill up. The older guy in line behind me was intent on looking at the incrementing of the dollars and cents or the gallons as the gas rushed into his tank. His wife, was peering out the passenger window, focused on the other cars as their owners each took their turns filing their respective tanks.

The wind blew lightly. But it was enough to cause a chill when snow crystals touched my cheeks.

Neither one averted their eyes enough for me to make eye contact. Or even offer me a glimpse of an opportunity to approach them.

My nozzle clanked harshly and brought me back to my own task at hand. Right around $25 to fill up. I can accept that.

I slid back into my beater of a car and headed back to the road. I slowed at the stop sign and headed away from the main road back towards the parking lot. And the building that brought us here. My wife was at work. But this time of day would be very busy. I paused realizing we had not spent much time together in the past few months. But again pointed the car towards the road. Casually speaking in public isn't exactly quality time. I will try to stay up long enough to see her when she gets home after work tonight.

Driving up the hill, and back towards the highway, decided to head over to Panera Bread and grab a bagel.

Now I don't normally eat bagel's. But I wanted to see if I could find someone for a portrait tonight. It's been long dry spell.

I pulled into a parking spot and grabbed my camera bag and laptop from the back seat. It didn't look very busy, so I wasn't sure what my opportunities would be like. Sauntering up to the counter, I ordered a small drink and a plain bagel with cream cheese then found one of the overstuffed leather chairs to drop into.

Tearing it up a bit and putting on the cream cheese, I listened to conversation of the three people at the table in front of me. I couldn't hear much of what they were saying so I opened my laptop up to surf the Internet a little.

I put my drink on a side table so I had to turn my head and see the patrons to take a drink. This allowed me to see if anyone might be an interesting subject as well as be aware of my surroundings.

When I was empty, I headed back over to the drink fountain to re fill. As I walked in front of the order register between the people waiting for their pannini's and drinks, I saw a girl at the end with a knit hat on. She stood out for her fashion more than for her looks. I looked a her but passed on an opportunity since she looked quite disinterested even in her being there.

As I went back to my seat I glanced back to her and THOUGHT I made eye contact. But one can really never tell from 40 feet away. I thought about it a minute and decided to head back with a business card in hand. I knew I would only have a few seconds to work with. She appeared to be a 20 something girl with little or no patience for anyone that wasn't a football star or 6' 2" financial advisor with a BMW in his parking space.

As I got closer I she watched me beeline towards her. Her weight shifted and she immediately went into defensive mode.

From this distance, I could now see she was cute. So she has probably had her share of creeps approach her. Now, to her, I was just another creep. Great. Nice way to start a weekend.

I knew in an instant I was lost on anything I had. I put my hand out with a card. It was all I had to offer at this point. She was very hesitant. I tried to explain I was doing a project about organ donation but she probably only heard "I want to take your nude picture" or something equally offensive.

I insisted she take the card and if she could to stop by and talk to me about the project I would appreciate her time.

I walked away knowing the card would end up in the trash.

As I sit here about 20 minutes later. Knowing she will never see the flickr page or this blog. I write to be fair, but I am unsure (and insecure) in her thoughts about me.

The snow flurries are drifting from the unseen clouds in the dark gray sky above. People are coming and going out appearing happy. Content. Full.

,I too leave this place. My bagel was nice and fresh but yet I leave empty.

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