Thursday, January 24, 2013
Eased the Civic out of Fred Meyer's parking lot, orange-tinged opaque plastic prescription bottle in pocket. On the passenger's seat, her absence and a 4 ounce bottle of Hibiclens.
The rain was my excuse for not walking. It has only just returned to the Rose City after a spell of cold, clear weather that left frosty bristles on the furze near the river. A deeper excuse is that I'm feeling surly and resentful and f*ck it all anyway. Here's hoping that the recent frosts claimed many slug eggs. That they precluded the existence of many springtime mosquitoes.
But I did get smiles from two people. The first came from the cashier at Walgreen's. She was a jokey gal with a gleam in her eye and an overt willingness to be friendly. Surprisingly, the second smile came from the young man behind the counter at Freddie's pharmacy. He was another matter. He didn't bother to look up from the computer monitor while I gave him my information, but tersely directed me to "Have a seat" before turning away. So I was surprised to receive a broad, amiable grin from him when he called me back up, prescription in hand. Who knows? Maybe he got a call from his girlfriend, the cashier at Walgreen's.
On the way out, a woman, her shoulders sagging against the weight of two fully-loaded brown paper bags, set off the security alarm just in front of me. She stopped short and I nearly stumbled into her. "Oh, excuse me," she said. Her expression revealed mild apprehension, as if she were expecting a dirty look. But I wasn't that kind of angry. "Not at all, ma'am," I said. I tried to shoot her a reassuring smile.
As I eased the car out into the intersection of SE 38th and Main, I wondered about the implications of attaching significance to every human encounter, no matter how trivial.
And it occurred to me that lonely people are seldom in a hurry.