As I was sitting at the coffeehouse late yesterday afternoon, I realized that I was surrounded by others tapping furiously away on their own keyboards, each one comfortably settled at his or her own table. I wondered idly if they too were doing NaNoWriMo.
Sure enough, as I was packing away my things, I overheard one guy begin to chat up the girl sitting at a table across from him. My back was to them so I couldn’t see their faces or body language, but the boy’s interest in the girl was unmistakable.
He: So, how many words have you got?
She: Uhm, about ten thousand [or something like that].
He: Omigod, are you serious? That’s awesome!
She: Yeah, but I think I’m gonna start over ’cause the story’s not working for me. And I just started this new job, too.
He: Whaddya do?
She: Uhm, I work from home. I call these people who signed up for insurance and get information from them.
He: Hey, that’s cool. You get to work from home, huh?
She: Yeah, it’s a pretty good gig. [pause] What about you?
He: [Deep sigh] Ah, I’m one of a dying breed. Not many of us left anymore.
She: [noncommittal sound]
He: Yeah. I program Web sites. Not many of us around anymore. It’s like knitting, you know? Not many people take the time to do things like that. It’s a dying art.
She: [more noncommittal sounds] Hmm. That’s true.
He: Yeah. [More forgettable monologue about the dying art of knitting/programming Web sites. Yackety yack. Blah blah blah]
She: [thinking that she really ought to get back to work so that she can get her word count back up]
And that’s why my back is always to the room when I write at the coffeehouse.