Friday, June 23, 2006


People existed like clouds to Eleanor, in that each was both unique and fleeting. Something special separates even the driest individual from his peers, even if that idiosyncrasy is only as small as the way he might eat cereal or fold his socks. Very few people were aware of Eleanor's intense scrutiny of those around her, or of the esteem she held a distinct minority in due to miniscule details that no one else bothered to notice.
She was a clerk at a local library, where her coworkers considered her unfriendly and patrons regarded her as imperious. At work, her mind was lethargic, and she could not understand what her superiors expected of her. Her mind and moods was her own, and she received a paycheck for her service, not her silence or lack thereof. More than once, a patron had complained to a supervisor, having felt like a schoolchild dismissed when their business had been completed. Every evening at five o'clock, Eleanor left work, got into her black motorcar, and drove to a small restaurant that welcomed both reticence and writers. Paradoxically, if the waiter at the restaurant smiled at her, it filled her with a warmth that a day's worth of considerate patrons could not.
One waiter in particular she preferred. His name was Todd, visibly displayed on the nametag pinned to his shirt, and the fact that it was evident for anyone to take note of was somethingthat filled Eleanor with a mild and irrational jealousy. He had brown hair, a goatee, and a ready smile. Eleanor was one of the few regular customers, and she was sure that he recognized her, even though he never gave a visible sign of it.


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