During NaNoWriMo last November, I went down to the local park to write for a bit. I didn’t get very far on my novel as I was distracted by everything going on around me. The weather was lovely that day, so there were plenty of people at the park to watch. I noticed that no matter what they were doing, they all seemed to be waiting for something. I wrote a short sketch of my observations as I waited for inspiration. (Note: I wrote in present tense as I looked around, and it didn’t feel right to edit into past tense.)
At the park entrance awaits a bride-to-be, looking all around for her tardy entourage. Her single attendant smiles nervously, assuring the bride that they will arrive soon, even as she glances up and down the street, then down at her watch, then back up the street. As long as I’ve been at my little table in the sun, no one has shown up yet.
Two tables to my right, in the shade, a lone band member waits for his teenaged companions to join him and reclaim their instruments, of which he has been appointed guard. Several minutes later two of his friends arrive, though the day’s plans appear to have changed. The musician’s expression is one of well-known disappointment, though he wears a practiced smile at the girl’s not-entirely-heartfelt appreciation for his patience. They walk away.
Meanwhile a trio of adults – one younger than the other two – walks to a table in front of me with two honey-colored spaniels. No member of the group looks accustomed to the walk it takes to reach the park, and so they sit and wait for energy to return as they enjoy the sun’s warmth.
Behind me wanders a group of black-clad young adults. They loiter around the coffee shop entrance, sending one person in to find something. After a few minutes the searcher reappears empty-handed. The group descends to wander the walkways, their dark attire in stark contrast to the vibrant, sunlit surroundings.
Below me on the green at the foot of a hill stands the leader of a hula hoop troupe. He arranges his materials and attempts to engage passers-by as he waits for the rest of his group to join in entertaining a transient audience. A few pause to watch, but no one is brave enough to let go of their time and take up the fun.
I can wait no longer for inspiration here; it’s time to pack up and go home.