False Starts – 1

While rambling around in my Word files looking for something I wrote a few years ago but now can not find the back-up disc for, I meandered through a few other files looking for it, just in case I’d saved it somewhere it shouldn’t be.  What I found are several false starts, also known as potential story ideas, also known as where did that come from and/or what was I thinking when I wrote this.  If nothing else, these fase starts are often good for a laugh and if you don’t write it’ll help you understand how a writer’s twisted mind works.  Below is one I located in a file labeled “Unforgettable” with a sub-heading of “memorable1.doc.”  from 1/14/2004.  Enjoy!

            Nothing about me is memorable.  I was quite old when I began to realize this.  Thirty at least.  It’s why waiters in restaurants don’t hear my order although everyone else at the table remembers my requests.  Sometimes I think I’m invisible.  It used to bother me.  I tried to make myself more noticeable.  New hair styles.  Vivid eye shadows.  I wanted to make a statement, but it didn’t work.  Finally I resigned myself to the fact that I am imminently  forgettable.  I blend in with the wallpaper.  Big deal.

            It actually comes in quite handy in my current line of work as a private eye.  I am so unnoticeable, no one notices me tailing them or if I sit for hours in my Ford LTD outside their house.  If I thumb through the files in their offices, they assume I’m the temp.  Or possibly the office manager.  I am beginning to think no one really ever looks at anyone.  Maybe we all look the same and everyone is just as invisible as I am in their own individual way.  But I digress.

            How forgettable am I?  Enough so my husband forgot to come home one night.  That was eight years ago.  I’ve pretty much forgotten him by now.  Except he still shows up to see my daughter, Sydney.  She’s 14. The exact opposite of me.  Completely memorable.  She could be a supermodel if she wanted.  Which she does not want. 

            Yesterday in Publix I was waiting on the fried chicken to finish frying so I could take home a box for dinner.  It’s one of Sydney’s favorite meals.  I tend to spoil her to make up for her shit of a father.  The same clerk asked me three times if she could help me.  And three times I told her I was waiting for chicken.  See?  Forgettable.  The fellow frying the chicken asked twice if he could help me.  That was after I told him I’d wait 20 minutes for the chicken.  Sometimes it’s just annoying to know that I make absolutely no impression on anyone.  But like I said, usually I’m okay with it.

            I’ve found my forgettableness to be useful in all kinds of situations.  I eavesdrop an awful lot.  Especially in women’s restrooms.  It’s amazing what you can learn when no one notices you.  For example, I know the wife of the president of the First National Bank of Dolphin Cove is sleeping around.  In the Kensington Golf & Country Club restroom I heard her talking on her cell phone to her lover.  This was during the bank’s annual Christmas party.  Why was I at the bank Christmas party you ask?  It seems one of the directors (who shall remain nameless) is suspicious of the bank president.  I’LL HAVE TO GIVE THESE PEOPLE NAMES, WON’T I?  How about Muffie MacKenzie for the bank wife?  

            Certain stock certificates and a rather significant amount of money seem to be missing from the bank’s books.  WEAK PREMISE.  AUDITORS WOULD CATCH THIS IN A HURRY.

            I’ve hung out in the rest room the better part of the evening and so far no one’s noticed.  It might be because I’m wearing an attendant’s uniform.  It hasn’t occurred to any of the guests that Kensington doesn’t employ restroom attendants.  So far I’ve made $5.50 in tips.  Cheapskates.  I’ve been handing out towels and mopping up countertops for over two hours.

            But I digress.

            I’d hoped the president’s secretary would spill something useful, but so far all she’s done is go into a stall and throw up, which I don’t consider helpful at all.  If she misses the bowl, I’m outta here.