Writing 101 Day 6: A Character Building Experience

Out of all the people I have met throughout the year 2014, I choose to write about Bob.  For awhile, I was working at a local convenience store.  Every night Bob and Jim would come in, get about $100 in lottery scratch offs and most times provide some serious entertainment (they’d sing a song about a girl named Katie, there were constant jokes and laughter).  Bob is a very quiet person.  In fact, if he knew I was writing about him, he’d probably get upset with me.

Behind the counter, all of us girls would talk and socialize.  It made the work day/night go by faster.  Little did we know that Bob was listening to our conversations.  Valentines day was coming, and I told one of my girlfriends that in all the years I was married, I never received flowers on Valentines Day.  Well, that Valentines Day, Bob showed up at his usual time with a dozen beautiful red roses, special, for me.  We had a conversation about cooking (I’m horrible at it) and Bob comes in a few days later with a big Pyrex dish of pot roast for me to share with my son.  He knew through my conversations that my son’s father wasn’t active in my son’s life and told me to bring him to their fishing spot.  I replied with “Ick… I don’t fish.”  Bob told me to bring a book, but someone needs to teach this boy how to fish!

Now that you’ve got a sense of his character, let me tell you who Bob is…  He is a 75-year-old man.  I’m 35.  If you think there was a romantic connection between us, please let me reassure you, there wasn’t.  Bob is a great man.  As I said, he’s a quiet man, but does a lot of talking with his eyes.  He’s a people watcher.  He sees and hears things, then helps when he can.  He’s a very smart man.  In fact, he’s given me some of the best advice to date.  But it’s his eyes that tell his story.

We’d go out and have a cigarette break together…  He could be talking about something as simple as the weather, and even in the dark with only the fluorescent lights lighting up the lot, his baby blues revealed so much.  He’s had tremendous hurt in his life.  So much so that he’s now very guarded.  He’s got a heart of gold, but afraid to express it for fear of hurting any more.  He has children who don’t acknowledge him (and possible grand children he’s yet to meet), an ex-wife and living alone in seclusion.  I know, because he’s human, he’s lonely.  I fully intend to take my son fishing with him. Not because I feel sorry for him, but so that he has a chance to put his heart to good use.  He’s an honest man (sometimes brutally) but the softness he reveals in a simple glance makes me trust him with my life.  I can always count on his red and black checkered flannel shirt and his baseball cap. His pants come above his ankle showing off black boat shoes.  A burly man.  To look at him, you may assume he’s a drinker, but he hasn’t had a drink in years.

I guess I feel that Bob has had a pretty rough life.  I know he was in the armed forces; his family life isn’t that great and maybe because of all these things combined, my heart goes out to Bob.  I know his time on this earth is limited and I hope that I can in some way bring him a sense of peace.  I’ve already picked out a Father’s Day present for him (because he did admit that his kids don’t acknowledge him). I hope to give the man a sense fulfillment; joy; peace that he for some reason cannot find within himself or his own family members.

Fellow bloggers, meet Bob.  The most unique, kind hearted, inspiring man I’ve ever met.

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