This week’s prompts are at the bottom. The stuff between these words and the prompts are just practice. Practice makes perfect.
I think the first time I ever saw him was in 1969. I was riding a greyhound across Texas, making my way to Lordsburg where I had gotten a gig writing for the Hidalgo County Herald. I was on my way up threading my way to success and the Herald was my first stop on what I was sure would be a long and lucrative career. I don’t know why I remember him, I only glimpsed him briefly, but there was something about it. The bus had stopped in Weatherford and I saw him through the glass that separated the diner from the rest of the depot. He was sitting in a booth, by himself, sipping a cup of coffee when our eyes met. I paid for a paper, he nodded his head and I hurriedly stuffed change in my pocket and returned to the bus.
That should have been the end of it and I don’t know why it wasn’t. The encounter haunted me for no reason. I’d wake at night in a cold sweat seeing those eyes and that nod; worried and confused because I didn’t understand what it meant.
It might have been a year later, maybe a year and a half, so it would’ve been ‘70 or ‘71. I was settled into my job at the Herald and I was working the Sports desk when I saw him next. Sports news in Lordsburg consisted of getting the national stories off the ticker and paring them down for publication. We also covered high school sports. Of course, there was only one high school in town, Lordsburg High, and they only had about a hundred students. Football players played both ways, offence and defence. Lordsburg would play schools from Silver City, San Simon, Duncan, Cliff, and Animas. There were no other towns large enough to have their own high schools.
Lordsburg high could also field a baseball and basketball teams. Most of the players played all three sports. I was driving to Silver City for a football game. It was late in the season and it was Silver City’s Homecoming. They were playing Lordsburg. It was getting dark and I had just passed through the town of White Signal when I saw him. Of course, I didn’t know it was him right away. He was standing on the side of a barren stretch of highway 90 with his thumb out – hitching a ride. It was the eyes that caught me. I recognized the eyes right away, but I couldn’t remember why. It took me a couple of miles to put it together and once I remembered I had seen him last in Weatherford. I executed a three-point turn and headed back to where I had seen him. On the way, I thought about what it might be that spooked me about this guy. I was at a loss, had no idea.
I got back to White Signal without seeing him. I turned around again and searched, but he was gone. I had to get to Silver City if I wanted to catch the opening kickoff so I chalked it up to ‘one of those things that make you go hmmm’ and continued the rest of the way to the game. The home team won the game 21 – 17. I met a lady that night in the bar of the Palace Hotel and forgot all about the hitcher I had seen earlier.
This week’s prompts are:
- blue as a robin’s egg
- slow consumption
- it’s a magic bean
Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need and, have fun!