Girl in the cafe

It’s easy to get into a bit of funk with your writing practice but it’s not always easy to find your way out again. One of the things I’ve learned to do when creativity goes missing is to pull out some writing from someone I admire and to try and imitate their work. I find that the focus that’s needed to dissect what’s going on in their writing pulls me in and without realising it, I settle myself into a bit of a writing session (well, usually).

This piece was inspired by Don DeLillo who takes small, seemingly inconsequential moments in time and opens them up into moments of wonder where previously unnoticed details become a pivotal part of the story. These intimate descriptions are interspersed with wide-angle shots that provide the context.

Bare bulbs dangle from the ceiling, their long cables looped around rusty nails that appear to have little purchase in the dust covered beams that hold them. The dimmable lighting is set on low but that doesn’t seem to have dampened the appetites of those devouring the soups and stews and unrefined meat dishes.

She sits at a table for two, positioned so she can see the door, her eyes systematically checking it at regular intervals. The smocked blue dress she is wearing swamps her tiny frame. If she notices that it’s been designed for a different decade, a different body, she either doesn’t care or doesn’t show it.

A yellow plastic salt shaker taken hostage by her fidgety hands is being subjected to an endless barrel roll. With each rotation a few more crystals escape to join the miniature pyramid forming on the table; an hourglass without constraint. Her right foot has been moved out of her leopard print Havaianas; it is perched high upon its ball it springs up and down in a repetitive motion.

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