Patty was seated at the table against the wall at the end of the bar. She was disappointed first, having hoped to luck into a table by the window overlooking the river. Shortly, however, she realized it was the perfect spot to eavesdrop on several conversations– the bar patrons talked loudly over the buzz in their ears and the tables closest to her had their volume turned up as a result of the bar patrons.
Two ladies at the adjoining table were enjoying an early dinner. Although well past middle aged, they were analyzing their mothers’ lives.
“That poor dear. She lived the Tammy Wynette life. Never came into her own. I told my husband right off the bat that he could forget about coming home in a state like that. Tammy doesn’t live in this house, I said.”
The other woman made a little noise of affirmation with a closed mouth before taking a long sip from her drink.
Patty looked around at the Waterfront Depot, which had held this spot in town for more than a century. Originally a train depot, it now served as a Victorian-style cross between a saloon and classy restaurant, to the extent that the year round local clientele of working fishermen allowed. The walls and ceiling had been painted a dark eggplant and modern light fixtures, straight from the Eugene Ace Hardware, hung in regular intervals over the bar. Stuffed pheasants, quail and what looked like a cross between a turkey vulture and a fancy rooster were displayed high above the patrons’ heads, likely procured from the taxidermy shop off Highway 101 on the north side of town.
Yes, she thought, this is the place. This is where I’ll write in the afternoons while I’m here. I’ll develop a persona. The locals will gossip and a few will attempt to make inroads, discover my identity and the nature of my scribbling. Oh, the fun we’ll have!