People have said to me many times throughout my life, "Teresa, you're such a character". But if you want to see a bunch of characters- observe middle school students. That's what I did last Saturday evening.
My daughter has a friend who is a Middle School drama teacher or sponsor. She invited my daughter to her MS play and my daughter invited me to go along. I’ve been to many school plays because um - I work for a school district. Sometimes, I want them to be over soon and others – I truly enjoy –seeing the potential in the players. I’m so glad I went see The Music Man and its cast of characters. L did the greatest job of directing this musical and the students did a good job too.
But the story I want to tell, the characters I found very entertaining, I observed at intermission.
I walked out of the auditorium through the double doors behind me –not the door I came in originally- which of course always confuses me since I have a delicate condition called, Directionally Challenged. I thought a smart thing to do would be to follow two MS girls since I was certain they were giggling their way in the direction of the restroom. But, right before the ramp that took us to the restroom area, a woman was guarding something and saying, “Stay over there, sorry, but someone got sick at their stomach.”
Oh yeah, “they” got sick all the way up the ramp and turning the corner.
The little gals in front of me went hysterical- or maybe that was me, in my mind.
“Oh sick,” the first girl squealed. “This is gross.”
“When does it stop?” the other girl said.
I wondered the same.
The stench reached our noses. The first girl grabbed her nose, “Oh it smells,” she whined and turned her head away and then veered toward the stomach spill.
“Watch out, don’t step in it.” The second girl pulled on the arm of her friend just in time to save her shoes.
“When will it stop?” One of the girls repeated.
Both girls started gagging. Out loud. Heartfelt. This made it worse.
“Step around it.” One girl guided the other to the restroom. Then it was over.
I wanted to laugh out loud and hold my breath at the same time, but I was afraid I would pass out, you know and fall in the....
The girls were interesting characters.
Sometimes, I purposely observe strangers to get ideas for characters for my writing. Other times, characters fall in my lap, like the MS girls.
I often find characters in places I visit, life's circumstances, and the dialogue that I hear. I ran into a couple of characters for my most recent short story in an elevator at a Hilton, near St. Louis. They are clever characters and not to be trusted.
Writing never leaves me. I even think about it at middle school musicals and in elevators.