Years ago, I worked an evening shift all by my lonesome for a bank in an old Texas town with a heyday dating back to the 1940s and stuck admiring its glory days in the rearview mirror rather than thinking how it might develop. If there's one thing working in an aged building in a town full of crooked money will do, it's teach you to look over your shoulder when a chill goes down your spine.
Did that automatic door open all by itself?
Did that light flicker because a bulb went out?
Is that vagrant pressed up against the dumpster outside drinking until I come out the door to take me someplace I don't want to go... never to be seen again?
The imagination is a crazy thing, isn't it?! Especially when you're alone.
As the years go by, my idealized memories of a unique job at times shift to nightmares and most interestingly, those nightmares lead me to exaggerated landscapes to explore in my stories.
My trusting 20-year-old heart always gave the benefit of the doubt and I'm still hanging around. We're sitting on a goldmine of potential stories to tell. We just have to unlock them.
What are yours?
For the record, I love that old town and find myself going back annually-- it's there beckoning like a lighthouse beacon, silently trying to bring its wanderlust ship(s) back home to port.