Footnote to “At the Breakfast Bar”

Most things I write are true but this one essay is one of the truest things I’ve ever written. I just describe what happened in a chance encounter at a hotel breakfast bar with a man in a wheelchair and it is as plain and uncomplicated as I could make it.

So I took this essay to my writing roundtable and read it aloud to the group. Then, as is the process, I sat quietly while they silently reread the copies I’d given them and jotted their comments on the piece. Then they spoke, one by one.

The most important comment was this: You don’t tell us enough about the man in the wheelchair. You only talk about his amputated leg.

And it was true, my description of him focused almost entirely on his missing leg – on what he didn’t have. Which, I’ve since figured out, was the whole point of the essay.

Anyway, here is the link to the essay, At the Breakfast Bar, published by WUWM on February 21, 2020. If you press the arrow embedded in the piece, you will hear me reading. I hope you like it. I learned a lot writing it.

6 thoughts on “Footnote to “At the Breakfast Bar”

  1. Barbara Anne Leigh

    Very interesting….I know how much people love to help me, and sometimes I do accept in part to humor them. But I also know that when I want something that’s out of reach, I look for the nearest stranger and ask for help. Hopefully this man really wanted the apple, and nothing more. But I guess we’ll never know. It was cool that you asked. And then let him make the choice,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this so much, and I think in the simplicity of your description of the man you gave us everything. It’s a wonderful piece and you sound exactly as I’d heard you in my head for these past years. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Here I sit, in Cape Town, South Africa, listening to you read your story about the Breakfast Bar …. the wonders of technology. I enjoyed hearing your voice, and your sensitive handling of a small, daily incident. Thank you for a marvelous post.

    Liked by 2 people

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