I am sitting in a Starbucks on the corner of California and 16th Street in Denver. I am people watching. I’ve never really done this before. When I’ve mentioned that I blog, many people have suggested I write about what and who is around me. To make up in my head stories about each person. I know this is far from a unique concept, but I am choosing to put it down on virtual paper.
There’s a white male wearing beige cargo shorts and a grey t-shirt. His face is red, probably because he’s walking quite fast. He has a neutral facial expression, and an iPhone in his left hand. Apart from the fact he is walking fast, I get the impression he is rushing to get somewhere. I’m trying to decide between a girlfriend, some buddies in a bar, or to pick up his to-go food. Let’s go with his buddies in a bar. I hope its a very casual bar. Maybe a dive bar. His attire isn’t much for anything better. Maybe he always dresses down and doesn’t give a shit. His buddies are not bros, they are cool nerds if that makes sense. Cool enough not to stick out in a bar. Not cool to the point of taking about sports all night and ogling women. They probably don’t have much of a problem picking up women. They are not crude amongst themselves. They talk respectfully about any girl they may happen to be attracted to. He’ll be a bit late, but his buddies are used to it. He’s always late. They never hold it against him. His name is Josh.
I’m in a seating area of The Hilton. I’m staying here for my three nights. There are four of us in the room: a white woman who is sitting right beside me; a white man called David; and a black man who is on the other side of the room.
My tablemate is Amanda. The black man across the room is gorgeous. Eh. I mean Nathan. Hi Nathan. Stop. Amanda and I are both on our laptops/tablets typing furiously. She is in town from Portland, Oregon for meetings with people in the main office of her company here in Denver. She has decided she likes Denver. Maybe she could try to get a job in the main office. It makes chips to sell directly to computer manufacturers. She knows the idea of moving here is crazy. Her boyfriend Jeff has a great job back in Portland. There’s no way they could just up and move here. She said it in a joking manner when she spoke to Jeff earlier in the day. He jokingly cheered the idea. She thought she might have detected a hint of possibilty underneath the jest. Before she came away he has poured praised on the city which he had visited with a few friends his junior year of school. There was so much to do summer and winter. The idea was crazy. She and Jeff are engaged. She doesn’t wear a ring because it bothers her. Holy shit Amanda just got up and met with four bros. I’m trying to read their t-shirts. Amanda is a liar. Her whole story had just blown up. Let’s leave her and her dishonest way behind.
David stood up and left already. David is a shithead. He left an empty water bottle and plastic cup on the counter. Seriously Dave – you couldn’t pick up your crap? Was the itty bitty cup and bottle too heavy for your delicate hands to cover? Bye Felicia. I mean Dave.
Nathan has since departed. He was still on the phone. He looked serious enough, but he wasn’t frowning. He was on the phone with his wife, Rachel, back in his hometown of Charlotte. The meeting in Denver was going very well. He had made his pitch to the company he hopes will manufacter his new invention. Of course we don’t know what that is. Only he, his wife, and the company know. We love Nathan. We love Rachel too.. They are going to stay forever as the strong couple they are. Rachel is writing her thesis in poloroid light. Nathan’s invention will make his millions. Rachel will stay in research which. They’ll have two boys and a girls. They will hire a part time nanny, and Nathan will take care of the kids the rest of the time. He has his own company producing another one of his inventions. This one he could afford to develop himself due to the amount of money coming in from the first one. He scaled back his hours and rightly trust his managing director to handle things. Go Nathan!
There are a couple half a floor down. I can see them because the half wall is made of glass. He’s wearing a blue t-shirt, beige capris, and neon yellow gym shoes. Dear Lord. Did he think it was dress like a freak at school today. His name is Stone. He thinks he’s awesome because of his unique name. Has he never heard of Stone Philips? A much better dresser and good looking if he’s your type. He’s the third Stone I know. I’m the third Ingrid I’ve ever made. Am I unique Stone? Am I? His girlfriend Michelle who thinks she has more street cred. since The Obamas moved into the White House. It begs the question what she would think if Melania. I don’t want to know. She is wearing an orange t-shirt and capri jeans. They came away from Alaska to try to repair their relationship. Michelle had kind of hope things would go so well that she could propose to Stone. She felt that would be edgy and cool for the girl to be the one to pop the question. It’s not Michelle. Things have not been going well. Stone always sleeps first. He hasn’t got much of an imagination and to be honest is a bit dim. He never stays up worrying. Bless him. Michelle has been crying each night into her pillow. They will go back to Alaska and Michelle will break up with Stone a few months later. She will decide she wants to marry a man named Barack. Not the brightest is our Michelle either. Good luck finding a Barack in Alaska Michelle. She will die lonely and broken having never found her Barack.
Angeline has come upstairs. She works in the hotel. She is black, impeccibly dressed and very pretty. Her makeup is perfect. Not too much, not too little. She had to pick up David’s trash. We hate David even more. She’s neither frowning nor smiling. She likes her job enough not to quit. She also hopes to keep rising at the Hilton. Since starting here seven years ago in housekeeping, she has had four promotions and/or department changes. She is well respected. She earned $10/hour for her first nine months here. She now earns $65,000/year. She is on track for a great career. She is single. One thing she learned from her parents was to never settle. They had a beautiful, rock steady, loving relationship. When she has dated in the past she had dated some not so great men. Others were nice men, but the spark wasn’t there. She hopes she’ll meet ‘the one’ some day, but she doesn’t think about it too much. Better to be single than in an unfulfilling relationship.
I’m in the restaurant now. One floor down from the lobby. There is a table of four nearby. I am alone. I shower, dressed up, and even put on some makeup. Those who know me, know I only put on makeup a few times a year. Might as well dine in style for my last night in Denver. They are two men and two women. They are two couples who have come away on vacation together. It is easy to pick them out from the people who are here on business. They are relaxed, wearing casual clothes, and talking and laughingly. I’ll leave them nameless. I’ll observe them at a further remove from the others. They are all drinking alcohol and Bob (he has a name) is likely to get wasted. He usually does. His wife, Tanya (I guess she has a name too), is always worried about it. Before they left their room she begged him to take it easy. He promised he would. He always promises he will. Sarah and August (okay they all have names) have known The Friedmans for years. They both know Bob drinks a bit too much, but not how bad it is. Bob is going to get trashed tonight. He’ll embarrass himself, Tanya, and The Cravens (They all have last names too. Happy?). When Tanya finally got Bob into bed, with a lot of help from August, he threw up all over himself and the sheets. August offered to stay, but Tanya was too embarrassed. Tomorrow Tanya will give Bob the ultimatum to quit drink for good, or she will file for divorce. Who knows what will happen?
There is a young Asian gentleman seating behind me. He walked past my table when going to his. He didn’t stare at me in awe of my beauty so he must not have seen me. He is twenty-seven years old. He is here on his own as I am. I doubt he’s here for pleasure. He’s not the kind of man to travel on his own. He is here for an interview. He is a professor in his hometown and had won the attention of many Universities. He is here to meet with people from The University of Colorado – Denver (UCD). They will make him a very generous offer which he will turn down. They will keep upping the compensation until they feel they cannot anymore. He will decide to remain where he is. He loves his town, his job, and his life. He realizes that in full while away.