The people sitting next to me are talking about salami.
They’re sick of turkey, sick of it, I tell you, sick of it.
They joined me at the picnic table in the back yard of the inn where I’m staying for a self-imposed writing retreat. They are having their lunch. I am outside avoiding the awkwardness that would result from my remaining in my room while a male member of the housekeeping staff makes my bed and sets out clean towels. Also, I found the vacuuming a little distracting.
To be honest, I was going to head out anyway. The landscaper’s chainsaw and wood chipper right outside my window were also a little loud.
The picnic table in a serene spot behind the inn looked so promisingly peaceful. And it was peaceful, at first, but only for about 27 seconds, until the Sam Adams truck came by to make a delivery. The driver was efficient, though. He didn’t even turn off his loud, smoky engine while he unloaded the crates of beer. Good thing it didn’t take him too long, because the vodka truck was right behind him.
It is Utima brand vodka, which boasts a perfect balance of wheat, rye, and potato right there on the side of the truck. Anyone knows I’m a sucker for a potato, but I don’t like this truck at all.
The vodka truck driver is loud and smelly, or rather his truck engine is. He may very well be, too, but I can’t say for sure from here, overwhelmed as I am by the odor of my bench mates’ salami sandwiches. And anyway, who am I to judge? I can barely carry a Pepsi down the street. Oh, I haven’t told you about that yet, have I? Hang on, we’ll get there.
After attending a manuscript organization workshop at the Writers’ Loft, I decided to stay a couple of nights so that I could, well, organize my manuscript. It seemed like a great idea when I booked the room; however, I feel a little like my mini writing retreat has been snake bitten from the start.
First of all, I had my room keys for less than a heartbeat when I dropped and lost them. They were two real, metal keys on real metal key ring because this is one of those old fashioned inns – no electronic swipe cards impersonating room keys here. Now, my room keys are well and truly gone, floating around somewhere in the fourth dimension. The inn people were very good sports about it. They gave me another set and said they wouldn’t charge me.
And then there was my pocketbook. No, that’s not lost, that’s broken. The straps broke just after I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich from a nearby snack shop on my way back to the inn after the manuscript organization class.
It was fun carrying my strapless, bulging writer’s bag-slash-pocketbook in one hand while juggling a greasy grilled cheese and fries in the other. The Pepsi, unhappily confined in its weak plastic cup with the broken cover, sloshed and stained to its heart’s delight. I looked like an idiot, but it was a short walk back to the inn, so I was not visibly idiotic for too long.
They’re silent now. They are no longer talking about salami, or their dog who does not like to be outside in this heat, or the girl at work who will not answer the phone (who does she think she is?), or their upcoming trip to Ogunquit (I hope it doesn’t rain; is it supposed to?). They are no longer talking at all. Could it be that I am making them uncomfortable with my giggling and typing?
Well, perhaps they should have thought of that before they joined me at the picnic bench.
Warning: you must never trust a lady sitting alone with a laptop. You never know what she’s been through.