Location, Location, Location

Following “Observation and Implication” is “Location, Location, Location” in the Coursera Craft of Character course I’m taking.

I found this section harder than expected and had to resubmit after I was only given 1/2 credit by my classmates on my first round.

Unfortunately, due to some glitch in the system, I didn’t know that I needed to resubmit until after it was too late and I had to wait for the next full round of the course to join and submit there.

After passing there, it has delayed me then by weeks on continuing to the next section of the Creative Writing specialization, but I’m determined to get through them all and head on to the capstone project at the end.

Anyway, the project this week was to exercise dialogue monologue and to create a 700-1000 word scene with at least 3 characters: an Insider, an Outsider, and an Observer.

I admit that my first submission was confusing and I’m glad I was able to write something knew. Below is my final submission which not only passed but got some very favorable reviews.

After it’s happened so many times, it can’t be coincidence anymore that one of the characters has a tie in to The Den, the fictional adult club where many of my characters meet or work or pass through at some point.

Let me know what you think.

“It’s just two more blocks up. When you see the water, turn left and you’re there. You must be a tourist.”

Laughing. “I guess it is that obvious.” She was cute. Not beautiful. Not stunning. Cute in the way that made her feel more normal than the usual women he met. “So, you’re from The City then, I take it.”

“Me?” He shrugged. The motion caused a small bit of coffee to splash from the opening of his coffee mug. “Um, nah. I just work here.”

“Oh, where?”

Was she actually interested? thought Jacob as he washed the table nearby. It was nearing the end of his shift and he was rushing to complete the last things to avoid leaving them for the next shift, but he could hardly resist listening in.

Ash was a regular at the Peet’s Coffee on Third and Mission in San Francisco. He came in four or five days per week, both in the afternoon before starting work and in the morning after. He had even once given Jacob a couple of free passes to The Den, the club he was a bouncer for around the block. Ash respected good foam on his latte, especially when doing it well with soymilk was more skill than the typical barista cared to invest.

“Um.” Ash was fumbling here. It was ironic that a man working the door for an adult club would be so obviously nervous in front of a woman. “It’s a club around the corner.”

“Seriously? OMG, that is so cool. Could you get my friend and I in?”

Ash really wanted to redirect the conversation. He was used to talking to people, but mostly in the context of his job. Outside of that, conversation was usually limited to a “Hey” or a “What’s up?” and a head nod. Always the head nod.

He had run into Jessica – Jess, she said to call her Jess – when she had bumped into him as she passed his table at the coffee shop. She had been looking for a restroom, which this store lacked. Apologizing to him, she had asked him for directions to the Ferry Building. Her bare leg had been smooth and soft as she had bumped his arm, so he was ready to walk her to the Ferry Building, just to be near her for a few more minutes.

“Jo is supposed to meet me there, but then we really hadn’t decided what we were doing tonight. Neither of us really knows our way around.”

“Joe?” Ash’s heart sank a little and he stuttered when he tried to speak again. He took a breath and started over. “Sure, I can get you and him into the club, if you want.”

She chuckled.

“What?” He said it with more force than he intended and she flinched just slightly.

“Jo. J-O. My girlfriend. Well, not my girlfriend… though there was that time… um, my best friend.”

Jacob was done with the tables and was busily moving creamer containers and sugar jars from one place to another, just to be able to keep listening in. This conversation was better than anything he had heard in a long time. Too many were one-sided as someone was busy on their cell phone discussing – in public – about very private things like urinary tract infections. This is real life, he thought, making mental notes to add to his journal as soon as he could.

“What kind of music do they play? Is there a dress code? I mean, am I underdressed?”

Here it is. The deal-breaker. Jacob was preparing himself to offer Ash a free latte or something when.

“Um… don’t laugh. You’re definitely not underdressed.”

“What do you mean?”

“Seriously. Don’t laugh. I bounce for a strip club.”

Jess made a high squealing noise, jumped up once. “OMG! We’re there!”

Jacob nearly fell over trying to get closer to make sure he’d heard that correctly.

Jess grabbed Ash’s bicep in both hands, moving closer to him and lowering her voice, as if in great confidence.

“Will you have a break to have a drink with us? Maybe we could get a dance from you?”

Now it was Ash who looked ready to fall over, and he even stumbled slightly as Jess lead him out of the coffee shop.

“Jacob. Dude. You’re going to hit OT if you don’t clock out,” someone called from the far side of the counter.

“Dude,” Jacob flipped the dirty washrag into the sink, “You are not going to believe this story.”

Next Up: Two stories with alternating Point of View


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