29 November 2006

The man at the Windsor Inn

I have to tell you about a man I met while I was in D.C. He’s the owner and/or manager of the Windsor Inn, a renovated house, small and old but accommodating. No elevator. Armida stayed there.
The man has an eastern European accent, which makes him instantly charming, of course. His hair is graying and thinning. It looks like a self-cut job with that Einstein every-which-way look. That particular evening, he wore a black and white plaid shirt with a burlap tie and a corduroy jacket. You know, the kind with the patched elbows. He always held his glasses, which dove and flew through the air, occasionally subject to a good sucking while he thought. He sensed when his boarders needed something and jumped up to help with that smile that at least looks genuinely pleased that we needed him. You can’t really tell where he is looking because his eyes go different directions, but eventually his smile hides that.
This man looks like the sort of man with whom you want to be friends. He looks as if he has hidden tales, stories that twinkle in his eyes, and it’s your job to prod him along, just enough to get the once upon a time.
I tell you about this man because I want to go back and meet him again. I lost, you see, because I only spent the two minutes with him, asking about how to get to the White House. Oh, that I had spent more time, that I had gotten the once upon a time.
I tell you about this man because he just might show up in my next book. Not my current WIP, but my next book. The ideas are simmering, and this man is jumping up, pleased to help.

12 comments:

Jeanne Damoff said...

I love this little sketch, Heather. You make me want to hear his stories, too.

Stephanie said...

Okay, I found you through Willowtree. I think we have a connection. Are you from Texas?

I'm leaving you my work email since I can't get to home email from work.

BTW, I like your site!

Heather said...

Stephanie,
I'm not from Texas, but I live in Texas. A very important distinction!
I didn't any email, and I can't check out your blog since you left the comment through the anonymous option.

Erin said...

Maybe he's your muse.

Willowtree said...

Ah ha! Finally something I can comment on. A strange little guy with some eccentricities, now that's something I can relate to (and no, I'm not talking about me, it's someone else, honest).

Hey Heather you got a twofor! Stephanie doesn't have a blog (although she should have),she's just a committed commenter (or is that a commenter who should be committed?).

Jennifer said...

A story set in an inn could be really great, too.

I did not know that you lived in Texas. I'm from there (Houston), and you sound like my husband, who can't just answer the question, "Where do you live?" with a simple, "Connecticut." He really has to say, "I live in Connecticut now, but I'm from Texas."

Pamela said...

Are you talking about my Uncle Ernie?

Stephanie said...

Sorry, my first comment was from work. It totally blocks lots of stuff.

I don't have a blog... I'm a semi-pro commenter (just ask willowtree).

I really think we have a connection...

L.L. Barkat said...

If any one has a connection, I think it might be you and the old man. Isn't it strange how with one encounter we can find our hearts rushed into longing? Something about him must have stirred a deep place. Yes, this is writing material, yes.

Robin said...

Mystery and intrigue in the unknown...you have drawn us into the life of a stranger.

A gift, my dear, a story you must begin...and complete :).

Vicki said...

Great word picture. This is the kind of person I would be friends with.

Mike Duran said...

This gentleman was in my last book, Heather. His name is Svenson. He oversees a small ceramic's plant named Livery's that has been in his family for several generations. He enjoys swing music, has a collie with a glass eye, and studies cryptozoology. So yeah, you shoulda talked to him.