Last night I went to a Halloween party channeling Luna Lovegood, one of my absolutely favourite characters from Harry Potter. I love her because she’s strange and different. She stands out, which makes it so she doesn’t have many friends. But she’s loyal and kind. She’s adorable and spacey. In the Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix, the movie, she cares more about her pudding than getting back her shoes.
And now for my interpretation. I was wearing radish earrings, but I’m not sure how visible they are in any of these pictures…
A black man (why does it matter? It doesn’t, and yet somehow I have yet to point out when characters are white) sits in the corner with his laptop. He calls his twelve year old daughter “baby girl” and let’s her do her thing while he writes love letters to a woman who lives far away. He rarely sees his daughter, but he’s happy she’s taken an interest in books and he would buy her anything in Borders that she asked for.
An eight year old girl in a full out princess costume pushes the stroller with her baby brother inside. It’s not yet Halloween but that doesn’t stop her from wearing her tiara out in public. She plans to wear this costume every day this week to school where she will doel out orders to anyone within hearing distance. This is how she will decide who is really her friend, or rather her subject, and who she will invite to her birthday party in a couple weeks. Her baby brother is automatically invited, but she has a feeling he doesn’t care about much more than spitting up, eating and sleeping.
A girl with a British accent orders a medium cocoa trio and sets up camp on a table made up of four mini tables. It’s just her and her school work spread out across the surface. Instead of reading through her papers, however, she takes out a legal pad and starts to write a short story. School work can wait until later, no one can predict when inspiration will strike.
Two boys sharing an iPhone, one with a Bruin’s hat on the other has shaggy emo hair that flips up at the bangs. I imagine they are flipping through pictures of naked girls, laughing quietly to themselves because it is the secret they share. Porn feels so scandelous when you’re fifteen and looking at it in a hidden corner of a care in a bookstore.
A boy eating a blueberry muffin with his dad who is drinking hot coffee. They don’t see each other often on account of the divorce. The boy often feels like he’s supposed to be on his mom’s side when he secretely wishes he was on his dad’s. The dad isn’t quite sure how to relate to his son anymore so they go to the mall and look at model cars. The blonde haired blue eyed son doesn’t mind, because any time he can spend with his dad is good enough for him.
There is a girl with long yellow-blonde hair carrying a Coast purse and a Bath and Body Works bag. Her hot drink cup is large, her drunk probably a caramel apple cider. She joins her friends who are skinnier, prettier and crueller thn she is, but she likes it this way. She longs to be cruel. Her wants a mean girl shell to cover how she feels inside. She wishes life were a musical, that her voice was good enough so she could join Glee Club and sing about it.
A woman bought the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She sits at a long table that could sit 4-6 people but she’s alone. She reading a cooking magazine, trying to think of what to cook her husband this evening when he gets home from work. Her days are filled with thinking about dinner. She’ll go home to binge on a bag of Baked Lays in order to stuff down her lonliness until her husband finally gets home around nine o’clock this evening. Dinner will be cold, but he’ll make it up to her in bed. He always does.
For the longest time I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a Moleskine to specifically write about people. I love sitting in Borders to write and observing the people around me. They are all doing their own thing, living their own lives and yet for a few moments we are connected. I’ve decided to start posting here about the characters I come across. The idea is I take what I see and make it into my own.
There is a woman who walked over to her table with her arms full of bargain cookbooks. She ordered a decaf coffee. Her hair is short and black with bangs. She wears a long black skirt with pink socks and clogs. I imagine she is only looking at those books for suggestions. She spends her spare time creating her own recipes that she never writes down or repeats.
There is a guy who has been here longer than I have (and I’ve been here for an hour and a half). He has long brown hair and a scruffy trimmed beard. He was Googling something — I imagine it has something to do with time travel — and typing quietly. At one point he finished his black iced coffee, looked around then left Borders for a mall exit with only his cell phone. I imagine he was going to make a very important phone call and smoke Djarum Blacks while discussing the materials to make a time machine. When he returned (five to ten minutes later) I had been acting as an unofficial guardian of his abandoned laptop (no one else seemed to notice it anyway). He ordered another huge cup of coffee and went back to important business.
A guy with long white hair and glasses answered his phone. “Hello? I’m in Borders drinking coffee and whatever… do you want to just start walking out of the mall and I’ll meet you?” No goodbye. I imagine right now he loves coffee more than his intellectual, restless boyfriend.
One of the baristas said to her coworker, “I’m actually jealous that you’re going to college. It’s so expensive.” She’s going to remain making coffee for a while, hopeful to move up and be creative in a way that will let her escape from here. Her wining personality trait is her optimism.