Meeting James


james_icon.gif anne_icon.gif

Scene Title Meeting James
Synopsis Anne steals one of her co-workers out for food, because it's boring to always eat alone.
Date 12 17, 2008

Outside a homeless shelter

It is a clear day, blue skies and a tang of cold in the air, clouds of breath standing from people's mouths as they wait in lines at the shelter. Warm food, somewhere to sleep where you won't wake up dead, that's worth a lot to those who are worse off. James, for his day off dressed up in jeans, with a thicker, red flannelshirt under his leather jacket and cowboyhat on top of his noggin', offers his services as a volounteer at one of the shelters around Bronx, where he used to work more regularly during those first, seemingly endless months after the bomb.

For now, he has finished the hours he promised away though, having served and trimmed the engine of the old car they use to transport food and other material, and now we find him stepping out of the door and holding it open to allow others to pass through, offering his warm smile to everyone and all in passing. Seeing as another volounteer seems to be leaving at the same time as him, he lingers a little in the doorway, keeping it open a moment longer rather than letting it slam into her face. "So, Miss Anne, got any plans for the evening?" he offers as she gets closer.

Anne hasn't been helping out in the shelters for quite as long, but she's felt the need lately to get out and about with people again and help. And so here she is. Today she could be found doing the laundry, showing people where to sleep, and helping out with the dishes. Perhaps not the most fancy job in the world, but it was needed, and was about as much as she could handle headwise at the moment. Too much thinking when your head is filled with other things is a bit difficult. When she heads out for the day, pulling on her jacket as she heads for the door, she spots James holding it open for her. "Why, James. Such a pleasure to see someone holds to the old manners." Not that she's extremely stuck to them herself, but it was kind of nice none the less. "How're you doing today? And, no. Can't say that I do. Closest thing to it was heading home and getting myself some ramen."

James tilts his head a little, part nod, part amusement as he allows for Anne to step outside properly before the door is let go, closing slowly with heavy finality to the 'thud'ing sound. "Don't know about manners, but seemed like a bad idea to let the door close in your face 'n all." he replies, "And I'm fine, thank you. Was actually thinking something along the same lines, see about getting some food and sleep before I get back to work tomorrow." He shows no real inclination to head off in any particular direction yet though, instead he offers her another of his wide grins. "Now, if you wouldn't think it'd be too forwards, maybe you could think about making me company for dinner? I know this place, not too far from here, a nice pub with decent food, and… telling the plain truth, I'm getting a bit tired of eating on my own, and the cats at home have horrible tablemanners. I imagine it could be interesting to share a meal without having to shoo my company away from my plate. What do you say?"

Anne laughs at that last part, a light musical sound, and nods a bit as she's buttoning up her jacket. "Yeah, I can see how that'd be a problem. Promise, though, I wont be stealing the food off your plate." There's a slight pause there. "Unless, of course, you go trying to get to mine. Then all bets are off." A slightly silly notion, overall, but maybe that's good sometimes too. "Anyway, I'd love to go. Show me the way, oh guru of foodplaces." In truth, if he'd shared the name of the place she'd likely have known exactly where it was, but that's really not the point of this exercise. Company is the point, here. "So where are you from then? You don't see those lovely hats on too many folk around here."

James nods, "Fair enough. I'll try to keep my thievin' hands to myself, then." he agrees, and then starts to walk down the street, letting her set the pace if she indeed follows. Yes, company being the point of this little exercise means that he's picking out his best manners, too. "Oh, this?" He lifts a gloved hand to tap under the brim of his hat, "Ain't so much a thing from home, but it's practical and keeps my hair from getting in my eyes.." If she has seen him indoors, she knows the slim chances of that ever happening accidentally. "But I come from this little place in the middle of nowhere, Omaha, Nebraska. And you, yourself? You from around here, originally, or moved-in like me?"

"Oh, I'm not a native either." Anne replies with a bit of a smile, falling into step with James. Her pace is neither all that fast or all that slow, and she walks with a relaxes easy step. "Moved here a couple of years before the bomb, for work. Though, the latter there kind of went up in flames." As did most of the city, so it was hardly that unusual a story. "I'm from Denverd, Colorado myslef." Which was a bit of a difference from New York, as well. "How'd you end up at the shelter? By the looks and sounds of things you've been there a pretty good spot longer than I have."

James listens to her story, or at least as much of it as she is comfortable sharing with a stranger, and indeed recognizes it from others. "Oh, I came here just after the bomb. I'd been applying for a job here, before, and when things changed, I figured I could offer my help to those needin' it." He strolls along, pushing back his hat a little from his face, pondering. "After getting an education, you figure you should put it to some use, y'know. And turns out, once I'm here there's plenty of work for me, medical staff being in short supply some places." They'll take a left, take a right into another block, and continue onwards. Towards more populated areas, might be noted. "So what'd you do, before, and how come you're over at the shelter now? You work someplace else, too, I take it?"

"Yeah." Anne replies, though she doesn't specify what kind of job she has aside from around here. She doesn't, after all, know James that well just yet. Taking some care is just basic common sense. "I'm a musician, actually. Used to play in a pretty serious orchestra, before such things became unimportant." Not to mention, half of them died, and the other half weren't so interested in returning to a radiation filled practise room. "As for why I work here," Or there might be a more accurate term. "part of it's selfish, really. I get to see some people, and such. And part of it? I got a lot going for me. Seems wrong not to share, you know? Next time around might be me needing a place to sleep, and I can't really complain if I don't do my part now."

With a chuckle, James motions up the street, towards what seems to be the classical sort of pub, the green and bright yellow sign above the door proclaiming it to be 'O'Hara's', the place to go for warm food and company at a reasonable price, and they do make an effort to keep the place clean, even if the windows are kept boarded up and securely nailed shut, these days. The glass shards still sprinkled here and there around the pavement are golden and green hues though, speaking of happier times. There's even beer here, at times, although the owner has probably kept the business going on pure willpower and stubborness more than once. "That actually sounds like sound thinking. You never know when you'll need a hand, yourself, sometime. And, we're here." And, if she'll let him, he'll get the door for her, pulling it open with a sort of complaining sound of metal against wood. Better than any shop bell to announce those leaving and arriving. "But I hardly think it's really selfish, seeing as you actually help ot
her people -now-, y'know?"

"Just not for the most self sacrificing of reasons." Anne admits with a nod of her head. She has nothing against James opening the door, and she steps inside with a narrowing of her eyes. Trying to focus the dim images of a darker interior, to get a sense of what kind of people walk around here. For the most part, they seem pretty much like the regular sort. Though she's not sure if unusual people always wear signs around their necks. It's a mite complicated, perhaps. "You come here often? Or is it just for special occations?" If it could be called special to drag someone with you after work. It kind of felt that way to Anne, though, but not in any romantical sense. Just company, after a long time without. "Seems like a cosy place, all in all."

The interior of O'Hara's is dark and dim, mayhap, but it is probably as cheerful as it ever gets, these days. A few electrical lights by the bar, aided by candles and oldfashioned oil lamps by the booths and tables, a seemingly perpetual scent of stew and potatoes in the air and there's even a small, honest-to-wood-fed little stove, these days and about this season being fed a steady stream of old chair-legs and other bits and pieces to keep the chill outside the walls. The other patrons look up at the whine of the door, but spotting James, they go about their business, some murmuring, some talking, some playing cards, some gambling, some singing, some eating… it's a small place, and still, it seems they make room for more, once they arrive.

James shakes his head a little, "This is probably as close as to a home away from home I've found, so far. I guess that's something special you can have often, if you want to." he admits, offering a cheerful wave and a smile to the sturdy, elder man behind the bar. "Heya, Frank. Two of whatever you're serving today, and some water, please?" he calls out and motions Anne towards a round table at the edge just being cleared off by a clearly overworked server. There seems to be no menu, but then again, this sort of place probably wouldn't have one, would it?

Having a menu rather implies there's a choice in your manner of food, and that kind of thing in New York probably costs a whole lot of money. More than Anne has, and from the looks of it more than James has as well. Though she's not so quick to judge that. Decieving impressions and all that stuff. "Home away from home.. yeah, one of those isn't half bad. You got family around here, then, or do you live on your own?" Of course, one could technically have both. That kind of depended on a lot of things, Anne realizes, though a few moments too late. She settles down by the table, nodding to the server and offering him a bit of a smile and a thank you. No need to be less than polite.

"Yes, and no." James replies, sitting himself down and putting his hat on the cleared table, opening his jacket again now that they're indoors in the relative warmth. Not too far from the little stove, either. Good table. He then chuckles a little, and starts to clarify, "I do have family here, but I live on my own." He pauses, and then adds. "If sharin' an apartment with three cats ever can count as 'on your own'. Thank you." That last bit is aimed at the young man doubling as busboy and server returning with two bowls of, you guessed it, potatoes and stew, a pitcher of boiled, still lukewarm water and two mugs. He offers a bit of a smile to them both, but mostly Anne's way, probably because she a she, and she went through the trouble of actually noticing him earlier, and then goes about his business. Of which there is lots. "But so far, I suppose I have no reason to complain. You? Family?" There is another, momentary pause, before he adds, "And if you don't want to tell me how and where you live, no offense taken." Just in case she'd think he was fishing for something that he wasn't, really.

December 17th: A Night In
December 18th: Fools, Drunkards, And Children
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