I’m ordering a smoothie (raspberry and peach), and the young woman making it asks me what I’m doing for the rest of my day.
“I’m writing,” I tell her. “I have this idea for a novel, and I want to start it today.”
She leans over the counter top and looks to her left and then her right. “Do you have ten minutes?”
“I have a good story for you. You’ll never believe it, but it’s true. It’s my life. Maybe afterwards you will write my story.”
I sit there drinking my smoothie while she recounts her childhood in Venezuela, her failed marriage at just eighteen years old, her dreams to become an artist, and what she’s learning in therapy.
“I tend to become everybody’s mother,” she says. “I’m not doing that anymore.”
I thank her for her story, and she adds, “You can use all of this in your novel. That’s how it works, right? You meet someone and they inspire a great story. But I want to look good in it, you know. Not like a crazy woman or anything.”
I tell her I’ll return for another smoothie on another day. Maybe I will write down her story. I’d like to know more about this Venezuelan young woman, wouldn’t you?
Journal: Who needs to tell you their story? Do you have a life story that people might not believe?