I needed to change my karma a little bit today, so I went out for a haircut, lunch and a couple of errands.
The haircut was uneventful, and I won't bore you with the grocery shopping. Lunch was more interesting.
I went to Panera, and got the tortilla chicken soup (yummay!) and the bacon turkey sandwich (feh). I was about half way through my soup when I started thinking I ought to do a character study on somebody around me. It's a hobby of sorts when I'm surrounded by strangers. Nobody in the restaurant really presented a good opportunity though, and I was not really able to focus on anybody.
Then a Jaguar swung into the parking space just the other side of the window from me. It seemed as if the driver were taking up two parking spaces, and so I muttered to myself into my soup something about Jaguar drivers blah blah blah. But that's when I noticed a dragon hanging behind the rear view mirror.
A dragon? I noticed it before I noticed the driver. Yeah, it looked like a dragon that was draped around the back of the rear view mirror. What?! This is a non sequitur, you know? The driver is a 50-something female who spent more on her hair than I just did on mine, more on her nails than I ever have, and was wearing both a turtleneck and a cable sweater in the identical shade of pink.
The back of my mind spun for a bit and I could not correlate the dragon with this driver. Not for anything. I noticed her as she gave her order, and as she waited for it. She was skinny, tanned, and her face was lined at the corners. Well, at least she hadn't fattened any plastic surgeons… But why a dragon hanging from her rear view mirror?
Was the dragon there as a memento of some occasion? Maybe. Was she declaring that she is the 'dragon lady' and we were all to steer clear? Maybe. Or was it an ex's car that she had scored in a divorce battle and it was still draped there as a trophy? You never really know.
So was she a trophy wife? No, this didn't seem to fit. Maybe a real estate professional or a sales manager or some sort.
And why did I pay attention? Well look, I can use the dragon wrapped around the rear view mirror angle as a hook for any character I want to describe. There's a juxtaposition between her careful appearance and lack of cosmetic surgery. She might not be successful herself, but she wanted to give that appearance and is probably close (or was) to somebody who was.
And that's why I call it a character study. She could fit in a spy/mystery/thriller as easily as something like On Golden Pond. The fact that she noticed me staring at her and she moved to the far side of the restaurant might have something to do with it too. (ooops!)
And was that really a dragon or was it something else? Well, that could be a plot turning point right there if it is something like a CSI episode or something from Agatha Christie-ville.