Prompted Writing: It was in her eyes

I sat at my usual spot, back to the wall with journal open in front of me and my second pale ale settling in a glass just within reach. I abandoned typewritten word on a glowing screen for the familiar scratch of a fountain pen’s nib on toothy paper. It seemed to fit the setting better. A man can produce on a keyboard, but he can lose himself in ink. The crowd was energetic and spanned age and gender – a normal Tuesday night at the neighborhood brewpub. Friendly banter and alehouse philosophy filled the air and added to my reflective mood. I’m at home in the noise and movement. As much as I’ve tried to avoid it I’ve found that I love the distraction.

Two young ladies sat nearby, tasting each other’s beers and laughing about work and school, while two old men sat a foot away recalling the automobiles of their youth. A row of regulars sat at the bar watching sports on the muted TV, joking with the bartender as he polished glasses. Barley, the brewery owner’s Weimaraner, owned the floor and visited each table for belly rubs and scratching behind the ears in turn. A young man appearing to be an M.D. and a couple of nurses sipped stouts at a long table after what must have been a long shift, while a couple of auto mechanics in greasy shop shirts sat at the same long table enjoying pale ales. This town is like that. It may be the mid-south but we mix well. I found myself drifting in thought, writing less and thinking more, so I closed my journal.

To my left, two couples were seated together catching up on their lives. They were immersed in laughter when one of the men asked the other about something – I have no idea what – and he pulled out his phone to illustrate his reply. As he did, I saw his companion rub him on the shoulder and look at him with the unmistakeable look of a woman who was proud of her man. I don’t know what he was sharing, and it didn’t matter. What I focused on was her. She moved her hand from his shoulder to his knee and squeezed it, all the while her eyes never moved from his profile. He didn’t notice, but I did. I have had that in a woman and lost it more than once, and I know it’s value. A man can have everything but without that in his relationship with a woman he loves he has nothing. It was there between them. It was in her touch and her gaze. In her eyes I saw admiration.


(Written in response to a daily writing prompt for WriteYourselfAlive:  Introduce strangers in a public setting as if they are characters in a book.  {with a deviation to simply tell the story of a crowd of people in a brewpub})


7 thoughts on “Prompted Writing: It was in her eyes

  1. I wrote a short little thing called fishing in the weeds. About another lady’s eyes. I was by myself at this little bar and grill with a beer and my notebook. A lady walked in with her boyfriend/husband whatever. And without breaking stride or missing a beat in her conversation with him, even giggling, she eyed me up and down as I sat there and he never had a clue. My thought was poor bastard and it angered me. So I wrote this about her but about that instinct in general. Was wondering if you had noticed something similar. If you get a minute take a look. Be Groovy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful vignette of a writers’ life. I love how you say, “A man can produce on a keyboard, but he can lose himself in ink,” then find yourself getting lost in your surroundings — the true sign of a great writer.

    Liked by 1 person

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