Waiting For Stories

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bikeI have this stark visual image of a character.

I’ve been seeing her for 5 years now. She rides a bicycle, a blue one, with wide chrome fenders, rusty on the edges, and upright handlebars. There’s a wicker basket strapped to the front and it hangs kind of crooked. Her name is Claudia and she’s wearing a fluttery white skirt with orange poppies on it. I always wonder how it doesn’t get caught in the chain or spokes. Everyone waves at her as she glides into the market square, and she waves back and jokes with the vendors by name.

The problem is, I have no idea what to do with her. I’ve been waiting all this time for her to tell me her story. I do know some things about her. That she’s ill, that she’s going to heal someone. I know her teeth are a little crooked and that all the old men of the neighborhood cafe admire her vitality, wish they were young enough to ask her to the cinema.

I’ve tried to introduce some people more intimately into her existence, but nothing’s worked out. I can’t make her stop being a loner. So I sit here waiting for the right person to show up, the one who will get her talking.

Frustrating, because as often as I’ve tried to leave her behind, she won’t go away. Almost every day, she sails through my mind and into the market square, waving, calling “Ciao, Umberto!” to the baker.

If she didn’t want me to tell her story, why did she come along?

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4 thoughts on “Waiting For Stories

  1. Five years may seem like a long time to us, but it isn’t in the Parallel Universe, where Claudia lives. Just keep drip-feeding research into your subconscious mind, and someday, when you’re reading about the right place and time, she will pedal into the marketplace, stop the bike and get off. She won’t look at you, but she’ll walk the bike to a nearby vendor’s stall that you didn’t notice before. She’ll talk to the vendor, and you’ll overhear a very interesting conversation.

  2. Elaine, Claudia’s a great character. You can take her in so many different directions. A world of possibilities! I see her as having a shy courtship with an unlikely hero. I’d love to read her story some day. 🙂

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