[Barry 3rd place]
A Writer's Eye
By: Barry D. Frisbee
Staring at the screen on her laptop, she steamed with anger as the words refused to come. She read aloud what she had so far. The writer turned to the golden haired monkey and said, "That was certainly an easy theme." In frustration, she pushed the computer to the other side of the small table and took a healthy sip of her cappuccino. "What a piece of Crap!"
"You a writer?" a gruff voice from behind her asked.
"Not according to my professor," she said, turning to see an elderly bus-boy, his blue-veined hands grasping a mop handle. "How 'bout you?"
"I've been known to jot down a line or two. What seems to be your problem?"
She motioned toward the paper bearing the large red D- in the upper corner.
"You mind?" he asked.
"Knock yourself out," she replied.
After a few moments of intense scrutiny, he placed the paper on the table between them and said, "technically, it's very good."
"But, you need to develop a writer's eye."
Her smile faded. "A writer's eye?"
"Look out the window," he pointed. "What do you see?"
"Tell me about it."
"Yeah, describe it to me."
"It's old . . . square . . . with a black cover."
"Is that all you see?"
"Yeah," she snapped.
"Then your professor is right," he said, laying the paper back on the table. "You're not a writer." He turned and pushed his mop bucket away.
"Wait a minute!" she shouted. "Tell me then," she said in a much quieter voice. "Tell me. What do you see?"
Turning to the window, he studied it for a moment. Taking the seat across from her, he pushed the laptop aside and began to scribble on a piece of scrap paper. When done, he handed it to her and walked away.
She read. The once sturdy box, now listed off kilter on rusted rungs, sinking into summer torched asphalt. Through years of rust, grime and grease peeked a fašade once emblazed with a green the color of new rye grass in the fall. Though a simple garbage bin to most, it is home to one man who proudly adorns it with his name.
She turned and looked at the dumpster again, and as if suddenly illuminated, she now saw it in a different light. The rusted rungs sinking into the softened asphalt were suddenly undeniable. The scatter of light green specks that were not hidden by time and decay shouted at her to be noticed. And there, there near the top in bold, rusted lettering, the name, Bob.
She laughed aloud as she looked around the coffee house. The blinders had been lifted and like a kid with a Christmas toy, she was giddy with her new sight. Nothing seemed as ordinary as it had only moments before. The long wooden bar, worn smooth from the touch of the human hand, stood on carved mahogany lion paws. The paddle fans adorned with white wicker blades, stroked the summer air into a spring breeze, rustling the golden strands of hair adorning the attendant. The bagels, dusted with confection, embedded with dark fruit, or crusted in kosher salt, all had transformed before her now open eyes.
On the way out the door, she kissed the old man's cheek and said, "thank you for helping a blind woman see. Now, I am a writer."