Inspired (like so many writers before us) by Natalie Goldberg, my writing group used a prompt from her (amazing) book Old Friend From Far Away to get the blood-and-ink flowing when we met this week. We wrote off the top of our heads for ten minutes on the topic of “First Meetings.” A snippet of what fell out of me follows:
Me with no doorbell, you with no phone–we wanted to meet, it was just going to take some doing. Remember pay phones? There’s one across the street by the Popeye’s. Call me, I’ll come let you in.
Except where are you? I want to go down and look for you, but don’t dare leave the phone, so I end up in the hallway on the stairs, from which I can see precisely nothing. Finally the suspense is killing me–I go out on the street in search of you. You’re not banging on the door, you’re probably looking for parking. Will I know you if I see you? I’ve only seen your face–are you short or tall or wearing a name tag?
Up the street, a block away, you’re crossing the street. We’ve never met and I can’t make out your face, but I know it’s you. At least, it better be you, because I’m looking at the man I’m gonna marry.