I staked out the place beforehand. It was a Wegmans Café. I didn’t know that Wegmen’s created a space where supermarket meets coffee shop so I was a little skeptical. What kind of suburban nerds meet at a supermarket? I saw them arrive one by one. They were easy to separate from the crowd. The man who eventually introduced himself as Stan spoke so loud that others looked to see if something around them could justify his volume. Stan looked just like the short guy from the Cleveland Show. I realized it wasn’t going to get any better when I saw a thin guy, pick and roll his booger like he was crafting a cigarette. He tossed it to the floor before he joined the group. I had to walk over before I lost my nerve.
Stan greeted me with a hand shake he should reserve for his daughter’s dates. The other eight offered up mumbled versions of their names. Ok – so I like to write. I thought that was the only prerequisite for membership in the writers group. I’m sorry I don’t have any concrete writing goals. Jan, the Meetup organizer, turned away from my response like it wouldn’t be long before she never heard from me again. I wasn’t like the other newcomer. He spent the majority of our meeting texting on his iPhone. Somehow, however, I had already been cast aside. How did Stan last so long? He interrupted comments over and over again. Jan sang his name six times in succession to calm him. Stan waved his hand periodically during the meeting arousing our excitement, only to let us down with his suggestions about completely changing a plot or character arch. According to him, everything needed to be rewritten – Stan style. I mashed my lips into my mouth flat along my teeth in order to keep from laughing out loud at this guy. A few giggles escaped when he started crafting an airplane out of a napkin as everyone else listened intently to booger guy’s editing suggestions.
I’m sure they thought the clacks from my laptop keys were for show. The doubt waned after we shared our responses to a writing prompt. I could see the look in Jan’s face – Oh, she might have something to contribute after all.
It wasn’t as spectacular as what Star Herman did today. (Remember Star? I am cyber stalking her. She doesn’t know it, but we are competing to have the most awesomest life.) I checked her Facebook status. She ran a half marathon today. It may not be Star’s half marathon, but it’s my marathon. I’m conquering it step by step, nice and steady.