The wooden bench beneath me creaks as I lean to retrieve my water bottle.
The decrepit slats of material bounce and bend against their ramshackle constraints under the stress of my weight.
As I refresh myself with a bit of the bottle's fluid inhabitant, I stare straight ahead, entranced by the prismatic rainbow of color defracting from the reflecting pool before me.
The fountain in the center of the pool sprays a continuous jet of water into the air, each drop lingering almost unnaturally in the apex of its parabolic trajectory before slamming back into the surface of the water, leaving nothing but the rippling remnants of its kinetic energy in its wake.
The mist from the exploding droplets of water wafts occasionally in my direction, leaving tiny points of moisture on the surface of the open page in my lap.
A woman on a bench across the water notices my unintentional gaze and shifts uncomfortably.
I look away.
Had I been staring?
Shit...how long had I been staring?
It doesn't matter.
I stared at her again, this time with purpose.
She was beautiful.
Her loose, brown hair floated gently in the light wind, almost as though unencumbered by the usual forces of gravity.
She was fit, but not athletically so, and she sat with a posture that signified the sort of warm composure that one attains through a life of love and happiness.
She looked up and noticed my stare once more.
This time, she smiled at me.
Just a small smile.
But a smile.
I did the same, and returned to the privacy of staring down at my empty sheet of paper.
It seemed such an atrocity, really: the blank page, waiting to be filled with ink.
It pleaded with me; begged to be freed from its imagined incompleteness.
And I simply sat there.
I sat there with my pen hovering above the journal as I always do, hoping that this time the words might come as freely as they once did.
I waited for what seemed like an almost unreasonable amount of time.
And then I waited a little longer.
The words never came.
But this time I did not mind so much.
I carefully closed the book in my lap and put away my pen.
To say that it felt good is not entirely true.
The feeling was still so...artificial, somehow.
But it just felt good to be out.
It just felt good to be among other people.