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Person, Place, Thing

April 18, 2013
An Elderly Woman Wearing Glasses and Reading a...

An Elderly Woman Wearing Glasses and Reading a Book (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gift box icon

Gift box icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Waiting room

Waiting room (Photo credit: KarlGartland)

In today’s challenge, you’ll combine your sharp powers of observation and your imagination in a bid to follow Fox’s advice and “collect people, places, and things.” With this challenge you’re going to start your collection by writing three paragraphs, one each about a person,place, and a thing. If you don’t have a laptop, ou might have to go old school and use paper and pen or a notebook to capture some details out in the field to use as a reference for when you get home.

I read this challenge just a few minutes ago. I don’t drive, neither do I live within walking distance of any kind of coffee shop, nor did I have enough money to visit the local restaurant. However, this morning I had to go to my local health  clinic. I am using the clinic after the fact, relying on my memories of it. The Person and Thing stuck in my mind easily. The Place (the clinic) I had to concentrate on to remember even though I’ve gone there for at least five years.

The Person: An elderly lady. Eighty years old. Her hair is cut very short, tightly permmed and tinged with the blue rinse popular with her generation in my area. She’s short about  5’2″ or 3″.  She’s slender, about 100 pounds. She’s wearing a two-piece, polyester,skirt suit in powder-blue, the hem comes just below her knees and is slightly frayed. Over it is a dingy white crocheted sweater. She has black, orthopedic shoes on her feet that need polishing. Beige support stockings on her legs with a run on the back of the left one.. She wears a pair of silver-framed, cat’s-eye shaped glasses on her face. Her eyes are a faded blue, somewhat unfocused. Her skin is pallid, papery textured, and wrinkled. Her tight, disapproving mouth is covered in a red lipstick much too bold for her complexion. She’s used concealer to try to hide several dark and ugly age spots on her wattled neck. She carries a large, heavy, black faux-leather purse. It is cracked here and there. She reeks of mothballs. her expression is tight and pinched. Her voice is high-pitched, and slightly shrill. She addresses her older, male companion in a chiding manner. She’s also fussy, constantly checking her clothing and her companion’s. She seems to be disappointed with her situation. Everything about her is out of date and worn out, even her companion.

The Place: The Local Health Clinic. The front door is glass and silver metal. You pull it open to the left with a handle. The room is longer than it is wide. The walls are the easiest, beige, smooth plaster, cool to the touch. The floor is carpeted  low-pile, wall-to-wall, in speckled shades of brown. Two grey plastic mud rugs laid end-to-end, lead the way to reception. To the left of the entrance is a wood-panelled  wall with a dark-brown wooden counter and two sliding glass windows over it. Centered above the windows is a large white clock, encased in black metal and with black arabic numerals on its face. Under the counter are two bronze-finished metal chairs with gray fabric covering the seats and backs. The receptionists sit on the other side of the wall behind the counter. In the middle of  the area are six chairs placed side-by-side and back-to-back. The outer wall has four large, single pane, metal framed windows overlooking the parking lot. A potted plant sits in the corner between the entry door and the outer wall. Three chairs sit under the windows, then a large, square, light-brown wooden coffee table. Several magazines are scattered on top of the table. “Time”, “Sports Illustrated”, and “Good House Keeping”, they are all several months out of date. Another chair and a love seat finish the wall. A second potted plant fills the corner then a final chair on the wall before you come to the door into the clinic.The clinic door is light-brown wood with a silver knob. It is set in a matching wood frame. All the chairs and the love seat are upholstered to match. A soft, golden-brown fabric over heavy, dark-brown wooden frames, with the arms and legs exposed. The two medium sized pictures are replicas of generic, rural scenes. One hangs on the entry wall between the door and the potted plant. The second hangs next to the clinic door over the chair on that wall. The potted plants are leafy green shrubs of some kind. They are set into bright red ceramic pots. It smells of disinfectant.

The Thing: The one thing that stuck in my mind was sitting on the counter in front of the receptionists. It’s a box, about eight inches cubed. It looks like a present. It’s covered in a colorful wrapping paper of flowers on a beige background. The side that faces the waiting area has two neatly folded triangles of paper on it. One is laid on top of the other and they are taped into place. A large, metallic gold bow decorates the top. It has a slit in top, one inch wide and seven inches long, placed in the center of the top. You can see that the inside of the box is cardboard. Under the  slit is taped a pice of white paper. Typed on the paper are these words. “Thank you for your feedback with regard to your visit.”  It is cute. Emily

In response to Weekly Writing Challenge: Person, Place, Thing

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