Saturday, February 6, 2010

His Outside Voice

So here I am again, at Barnes and Noble, in Peabody, on a Saturday afternoon, trying to write a ten-minute play for this year's Boston Theatre Marathon. Ten-minute plays usually run about ten pages. I'm on page six. But I have to stop.

(Okay, you're right, if I want quiet I should stay at home. No argument. But there's quiet and there's quiet, and home quiet, for me, is too quiet. I like the murmur/mumble quiet of Barnes and Noble. I like being able to take my face out of my computer, look up, and see human beings, some of them attractive women, milling about, enjoying the ambiance of literature and glossy magazines. Most of the time, I'm able to concentrate.)

But right now, the cafe is crowded, I'm near an electrical outlet and my computer is plugged in, and can't really move anywhere, and at the table next to me... this guy.

He's one of these guys who can't just talk. He has to proclaim. He has to announce. He has to bullhorn everything he says. He walked up to this table, where another guy was waiting, and the first thing he starts to do is talk about somebody--I'm assuming it was his father or his uncle or some older relative--who is newly in a nursing home. Today, I--and everybody east of Wilmington--has learned that Nursing Home Guy is comfortable today, relaxing reading a magazine. Glad to hear it. And, boy, did I hear it. But not only that--Nursing Home Guy has a doctor appointment this week. He can't close one of his eyes. His eye just stays open all the time and he has to have some kind of procedure to remedy this situation. I'm hoping Talking Guy goes along with Nursing Home Guy to the appointment and gets the same procedure done on his own MOUTH.

Anyway, usually at B&N, folks sit down for, maybe, fifteen or twenty minutes, shoot the breeze, finish their latte, and go away. This is what I was hoping for with this guy.

However, after he completed his now world renowned report on Nursing Home Guy, he pulled out a deck of cards, and began teaching the other guy at the table, WHO HAS NOT SAID A WORD SINCE TALKING GUY SAT DOWN--how to play some kind of card game. It is "Card School at Barnes and Noble Day," and this human sound system is the instructor.

So, I guess I'll just have to wait until Quiet Guy learns how to play the game and they go home. I suppose I can walk around the store and not spend money, but that's such a waste of time.

Speaking of waste, I can't believe I'm wasting this electrical outlet. Electrical outlets, in these days of Wi-Fi, are so hard to find. And I found one. And I can't work.

Because this guy WON'T SHUT UP.

This post, perhaps, will not make it to the Bloggers Hall of Fame in Radford, Virginia, but I needed to get this off my chest.

And, yes, I made up the Bloggers Hall of Fame.

I did not make up Radford, Virginia.