Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Laughter without malice
"The one lady at work; she so funny. You know what she say? She say, 'Maty, do you know what? Every time I see you, you laughing. You always laughing.'" She takes a plastic jug of fabric softener from the shelf, unscrews the top, and smells the contents. She screws the top back on, and places the jug back on the shelf.
"Everyone loves you, honey."
"She's very nice. She always like me to joke with her," she says. Her laugh is a quiet and musical laugh like the soft chatter of water over stones. She shakes her head, as she laughs, browsing the shelves full of multi-colored plastic jugs, bottles of perfumed detergents, myriad branded fabric softeners. She picks one, examines it carefully, then places it in the basket.
"Where do you want to go for dinner, tonight, honey?" I ask.
She laughs. "Honey! We don't even get home yet already you talking about dinner!"
"I'm just thinking ahead," I say. When I see her laugh, it makes me happy.
She moves to the next aisle. "I want to buy garlic," she says. I follow with the cart.
"Honey," I ask, "what should I write about tonight?"
"Write about yourself," she says. She bends down to peer at the various jars of garlic: diced, crushed, whole clove.
"What should I say?" I ask.
"How every day, even you don't have breakfast you want to know what we gonna eat for dinner," she says, laughing.
Laughing affectionately. Laughing without malice.
Just serves to remind: it's a pretty good thing, this thing I got going with the African girl.