Friday, September 01, 2006

"Every absurdity has a champion...."

The doorbell rang yesterday in a blaringly, insistently, not giving up until this portal is opened NOW kind of way.

So when I finally unlocked and opened, I saw standing there a...ladder.

Now one would think that I would be absolutely taken aback by this but no, no I wasn’t. Earlier that day, I had to kill time while a house inspection was taking place where I live so I went to several stores. The first, a run of the mill food market. So, of course, true to form, I was walking about all the aisles, letting Larry do the serious shopping while I entertained myself looking at things such as fresh ostrich meat, ugli fruit (and yes, it WAS rather unattractive!), and anything else that amused me.

Then...peripheral vision alerted me to a tall man walking toward me. He had white hair styled ala Elvis, was wearing tight jeans, white (!) boots, and a silver blue wife beater. His eyes were cerulean and the most amazing thing about them was that they did not sit centered in his face. The left one looked off to the left, and the right looked to the right. My first thought was how could he walk a straight path? My second? Of course, his eyes may not work together, but one of them is going to see me and he WILL talk to me.

He did.

He reached me and turned his head so that his right eye was facing me and smiled, a beautiful smile, and then greeted me -- joyfully is the only adverb that fits the reality. I returned his greeting -- hesitantly. After all, I did not know him though he was acting as if I were a long-lost friend who had been finally located by a private detective he had hired, and because I had been truly found, now thought that the money had been bloody worth it.

We talked for a few minutes. The how-are-yous, the isn't-the-day-great-so-far (well, actually, Elvis, no, the day has sucked for me but I'll play your little happy game). You know, all the words that strangers utter that pass for civil murmurs of conversation. Then I told him that I had to push on. We said our goodbyes and he moved forward, each eye scanning either side of the aisle.

The second place I went to was a food specialty shop. After entertaining myself for about half an hour, it was time to go to the checkout. Larry and I were waiting in a not longish line when, again, peripheral vision showed me a cashier standing about 4 registers over. She was pointing my way and speaking loudly.

Cashier: Excuse me, Miss, I need your help!

Alice *startled*: Me? Are you talking to me?

My Brain: Well, genius, she is looking at YOU, she is pointing at YOU, she is talking to YOU so I can understand why YOU are confused. Not enough information, is it?

Cashier *impatiently*: Yes, YOU! I need YOUR help. Come HERE!

Alice *chastised, and eloquent*: Um. O.K.

Before I walk toward her, I look at Larry and ask him how I could possibly help a cashier?

Larry *looking up from a pamphlet he was reading*: I don't know. But, think of it this way. Someone is offering you a job. Finally. Count your blessings.

All righty, then.

When I reached Cashier, she looks at me, and smiles. A beautiful smile.

Cashier: Sweetie, you must bring your purchases over.

Alice *confused*: Oh. But we're in line over there. *waves in an over there way*

Cashier: Yes. But I am open and NO ONE is in my line and I need you to help me by bringing your cart over so I can be earning my pay.

Alice *mouth open, nodding slowly*: Yes. I'll go get it, shall I?

Cashier *looking pleased that I got with the program*: I'll love you for it, sweetie.

So, of course, later, when I opened the door to an insistent ladder, I didn't think how odd that a ladder is visiting me; I just opened the door wider and waited for it to come in.

Eventually, it did.

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