Characters for your fiction are everywhere
even here at the clinic. This is where I’m at 5 days a week, all day being bent and stretched, but that’s no excuse for not doing any writing.
There’s no shortage of characters in this place. It’s called ré-éducation this teaching your limbs how to work properly. It’s a bit like re-hab except most patients are over 50. Make that 60.
There are bad legs and bad arms, slings and crutches enough to make you wonder if there are any uninjured people left in this part of France.
On the residents’ wing patients are recovering from operations, strokes, heart attacks and nasty falls. In the day clinic where I’m an outpatient there are some young people and they are mostly ski-ing accidents.
Stories just waiting to be written
The Queen of Andorra is here with her fabulous jewellery and stunning outfits. Not for her the yoga pants, trainers and sloppy tees. Her shoes are handmade pumps to match her numerous ensembles. I expect she wore high Jimmy Choos before she bust her leg ski-ing in the Pyrenees so now she’s had a bunch of flatties made to fit her slim but extremely long feet. (Feet are the only thing I’ve got smaller than hers)
She drives to her physio sessions in her Porsche. On the front there’s a regal looking car badge.
It’s hard to tell where the guys are looking when she rolls up.
She’s got a fantastic figure (except for the feet) and is a natural beauty. Plus, she knows how much jewellery to wear.
When she first arrived she unwittingly started the ‘bling’ competition among the other women, yours truly excepted. I can’t get my hand round the back of my neck to fasten jewellery anyway. So, it was an experience for me to sit there with my notebook and watch and listen, and take my notes.
Another ski accident has recently arrived. Her eyes are sunken and dark-rimmed. She’s in a lot of pain. I haven’t seen the ghost of a smile on her face.
The other ski accidents are men. One is a leg; one is an arm; another is both legs and one arm. He is one of the most masculine types: square jaw, chiselled features, all that good stuff. He isn’t the best-looking though. That title goes to the 6ft 4″ proprietor of the local archery club who one day let fly an arrow with such velocity it pulled his shoulder out. He has a physique so tight you could play bongos on his buttocks. Actually, I’d like to.
Then there’s Mister Bean. In the pool, where we have our Balneotherapy, he will not listen to our instructor’s advice. Mr Bean is a character who wants to do everything his own way. He’s all arms and legs going in every direction at once so I can’t tell which part of him was injured. He behaves like he’s fifteen. He’s 70 if he’s a day.
There’s a left shoulder who looks like Gaylord Focker and a right shoulder who looks like Spencer Tracy and then there’s two Spanish old boys who sound as if they’re speaking their mother tongue even when they’re speaking in French. I don’t understand a word so I nod and smile a lot at them.
The newest guy lives at the Naturist colony in Cap d’Agde and his name is Monsieur Le Coq.
The Lady in Black has left. Every item of clothing she wore, everyday was black: trousers, skirts, blouses, jackets, knitwear, socks, hairband, spectacle frames. Everything. But her shoes were white. Work that one out.
Mouse Lady and Bird Lady have also finished their treatments. They left on the same Friday and brought cakes and drinks and a whole feast of goodies to say goodbye to the rest of us. Then I felt mean for giving them such dismissive nicknames.
There’s Marie Louise who works for Air France. She’s always making coffee and asking if anybody wants one.
There’s Giselle with teeth like piano keys and Corinne who has a different car with a different man in it come to pick her up at the end of each day. Maybe they’re her clients waiting for her hip to get better.
Plenty of characters, you see? I could base my fictional characters on any of these. Stories are coming out of my pores as I sweat out the pain of having my elbow pushed, my shoulder hoisted, my wrist twisted and my fingers pulled.
But which of these characters do you think are real? I’ve changed names and embroidered a bit as writers do, but, go on, which ones are real? Have a go.
You can leave your comment at the top of the page. I’d love to know what you think.