The night of the broken sprinkler head that made it appear as if just one car, one solitary spot in the rest of the dry and deserted universe was caught in a downpour. Meanwhile, we ate tacos and I tried to determine if my tongue had been permanently disabled or if they were just slightly under flavored tacos. Or, alternatively, if I just have way outta whack expectations for salt content these days.
Or perhaps it was the day of the woman from the very Hippie community come to town to spend two hours talking to everyone about everything. She had hair down to her hips, graying at the temples, and had to be in her late 40’s-early 50’s. Quite thin. I think that I want to document her not so much to make fun of her, but to have her memorable personality down on “paper” for future use in a story somewhere. Her name was similar to mine, was what you’d expect and the conversation started out as genuine and interesting. She obviously had skill in jewelry-making and seemed impressed, perhaps over the top impressed, by every last artist in the store. She could explain all of their techniques, all of their processes and materials. As she did so, she would say, oh, wow, and then the artist’s name – you’re amazing, you go, girl, look at you. It was charming and supportive from a fellow artist and I didn’t feel at all odd by spending some time listening to her and agreeing and expressing my own support. They are great.
But that time suddenly rolled on and other customers were in and my co-worker, so gregarious and chatty, was entirely aloof. I broke away to help someone else and she just kept talking, looking for someone to glom onto, now encouraging a customer to buy a cardigan she’d later sigh and effuse aggressively over because it had been perfect for her.
When my back was turned, yet another customer became engrossed in her constant conversation. One mention of divorce and the woman’s head nearly spun a 360 to segue into her own story of a 10 year divorce that had yet to be finalized – today, in fact, was the day that her husband was finally meant to sign the papers, but it wasn’t clear from the way she described the situation whether or not he did and the loss of her children for those ten years because her husband had turned them against her. It was hard, all of a sudden, to just take everything about her at face value.
Still she continued, while shopping, to talk. Prayer groups and metalsmithing and beadwork. Finally, she bought a four dollar card, before saying goodbye to the customer who clawed her way out of her psychic grip. She didn’t leave, though, wandering around again to look at our community board and talk, and touch, and talk on everything before finally stepping out of the front door.
Getting ready to close up, I start cleaning up and realize she’s left her greeting card on the floor by the community board.