Prompt 158-Outside Observer

Think about a time you were recently in public. Describe what you were doing from the point of view of a stranger observing you.

I checked into my hotel in the early afternoon. I had no obligations for my first evening in town so I headed to the hotel bar. There were a handful of people already there at 4pm, including a rather exuberant group of young men on the far end of the bar. They were celebrating something.

I ordered my drink and turned my attention to one of the TVs over the bar. It was tuned to NFL Network. I don’t really care about football. The conversation at the other end of the bar got louder and a new voice caught my attention.

The short haircut threw me for a loop at first, but I suppose that’s a style young women wear these days. Sunglasses perched in a blonde mop that she kept brushing away from her face. A large ring on her left hand caught the light and glittered every time she did.

She ordered her drink – gin and tonic – and joined the young men in their revelry. They were all coworkers, and some of them were even in a fantasy football league together. I don’t make a habit of eavesdropping but there was something entertaining about this group of young adults. I ordered another drink and stuck around.

Through their conversations I gleaned that she was the leader of their fantasy league. There was some debate over how to switch away from NFL. I don’t really understand that, I thought fantasy football was NFL? They mentioned ESPN and Yahoo too.

They ordered another round of drinks and placed orders for food. They began to tease the woman about her husband. He was late, but this seemed to be normal for him. He was finally on his way, she assured them, because she had just ordered his dinner. There was an air of exasperation in her voice, but it seemed affected. She was looking forward to having him join them.

Another round of drinks followed and a fifth man joined the group on the corner. He sat next to the young woman with the short two-toned hair. She stopped glancing at her phone now that he had arrived. She did keep leaning to see the TV in the center. There was a tennis match on and she was chatting animatedly about it with her husband.

With another voice, the group’s conversation and laughter grew. More beers appeared on the counter in front of them, a gin for the lady. Whenever the conversation drifted away from her interests, she began singing along to the music. It was a blend of newer pop songs of their generation. I was not familiar with many of them, but she bopped to the beat as she sang the words.

One by one they began to depart, well wishes exchanged for the man with the new job. The young woman and her husband made plans to meet him elsewhere to continue their revelry. The energy seemed to fade as they left. That would probably change once the DJ got set up, but I had been at the bar long enough. I returned to my room in good spirits.

Notes: This is a weird prompt. For one thing, I don’t spend much time out in public if I can avoid it. I go to work and the grocery store and that’s about it. I had thought about writing this from the POV of someone in the grocery store but that gave me a creepy vibe of someone stalking me while I shop. I had my wallet stolen last year while I was browsing the deli case so that was not a plot I wanted to head down again, even from a benign perspective. Then I remembered how I was out late last Friday and had no time for a blog post. I figured that was a tame enough setting because I wasn’t the sole focus of this weird observer.

So that does it for me this week. Next week will probably be a similar schedule. It occurred to me that the nights I took off from the blog were football nights. That was unintentional, but it was entertaining. My Jets won on Monday night and AJ Green scored 3 touchdowns for me in fantasy last night. It all came up roses. Hopefully the Jets can win at home on Sunday. I feel like it’s been a while since they’ve given me a win for my birthday. I’ll take Monday’s win as my gift if nothing else though.

Have a great weekend! See you Sunday with some more prompts!

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