Framed and Stuck in a Box: Smokers and Secret Agents

by Esther Suson

[I have an earlier post, Framed and Stuck in a Box, which talks about how I save actual scenes that I see for possible story scenarios. Therefore instead of simply Snapshots, these are ideas that appeal to me for stories.]

It’s only one block from the fx stop to university, marked by a hospital, an inn, a condo unit, and a corner 7/11. Walking in front of me was a man with a thick waist, a black t-shirt, inch-length dyed-blond hair, and steel-rimmed glasses. He was smoking. The only reason I noticed all this was that as we rounded the corner 7/11, a young man, lanky and lean, with the somehow-uniform jacket, backpack, and turned-around cap that never falls out of style, went up to the black-shirted man. He held up an unlit cigarette, and without a word the black-shirted man stopped and fished in his pants pockets for a lighter. After the youth lit up, the man took back the lighter and walked on as if nothing had happened.

The scene is firmly fixed in my head as a delightful scene for agents exchanging information or at least signals of common sides. [That or some kind of comedic short story about smokers and unspoken code]. Framed and stuck in a box.


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