Glad I Don’t Own a White Van

“Staring is considered impolite, but go ahead. Maybe study is a better word to use. Study someone you don’t know: a cafe worker or patron, a child playing on the sidewalk outside your window, your waiter or waitress or bartender, the post office clerk as you wait in line. Write down everything you notice about this person and what he or she is doing.”

– Kim Addonizio, “Ordinary Genius”

On my lunch break, I went to a nearby McDonald’s and scrunched myself in a corner seat. I tried really hard to not appear to stare but I think the guy caught me. He was slightly intimidating, so I’m glad he didn’t do anything.

This is very train of thought, as it comes it is said, so hang tight for this exercise.

Man in four person corner booth, orange and black baseball hat pulled low until brim almost touches his glasses. He wears standard headphones – small ear pieces – that wrap over the top of his head. He sits, not typing, not clicking, staring at his screen. Everything is plugged in behind and above his head, his phone, his computer. His backpack hogs the opposite seat. He drums his fingers on the brim of his hat. His face has a shadow of hair, slightly more than his shaved head. He wears a sleeveless tee, potentially cut by himself, and shorts. His legs stretch out across the space under the McDonald’s table. A medium (to me large) drink sits to the right. He might be a red-head, his arms have so many freckles that they may start to blend into one. He has a wireless mouse for his laptop (not a Mac) and mouse pad. His computer may be sitting on a cooling mat thing. He definitely intends to be here for a while. He stares at the screen with a look that makes me believe he is working. His laptop bag has wheels. He wears his cell phone outside his clothes clipped to his belt. His “beard” just takes up his chin. A square of hair on the part that juts out. He packs his stuff in less than a minute.


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