Thursday, April 27, 2017
Friday Night (Blogophilia 9.10)
The text comes in just as he comes in the store: "Working until 6." Damn it. He's early and she's late again. You would think he'd get used to it. Or she would quit agreeing to work over. Lord knows what the fuss would be if it were her waiting on him. Might as well get a cup of coffee and pick up a pizza. Won’t be time for much anything else for supper.
As he approached the Starbucks stand, a chubby woman with wild curly hair and stained leggings stood at the counter. Another lost soul needing a shower to occupy his time. She asked repeatedly the difference between a Grande and Venti. Great. Her conversation seemed not so much with the Barista than with herself. Maybe they are sampling over in the cheese department. Better than waiting for this moron finish.
As he crossed over the aisle, he stopped to look at a rather large wine display. The manager had a sense of humor, putting "Menage a Trois" next to "Middle Sister". A bottle of "Josh" should be added, just for chuckles. A trashy novel could be written just from the labels. "Winery Row." Josh committing 19 crimes at Toasted Head trying to get Middle Sister away from that awful Mondalvi family, while Ernest and Julio woo...Wait, wasn't that"Falcon Crest"?
Nobody would get it. The ladies would look past that display and go "Oh, New Age is on sale. Let's get a that and some Havarti". Boom, the store just got another $25. It was all for the impulse buy, to separate you from the maximum amount of money. The way of the world. At least the world he was used to.
Nobody was at the cheese department, so with a sigh, he heads back to Starbucks and woman is gone. The barista's highlights are old and faded, but somehow she still smiled. Venti Pike's was ready and handed over with a knowing wink. He'd been doing this too long. At least the chair is open and the phone has a full charge. Candy crush to the rescue.
Somewhere into the second game, a drift of a one way conversation worms into his consciousness. The voice is shaky.
"Yes...I've talked to the doctor and he won't extend my prescription...But nobody understands...It's a matter of life and death...Let me have that number and I'll call you back...It's a toll free call?...I hope I have enough time on my phone..." Click.
The woman's back is to him. She's strung out. Makes sense.
"Yes...I need this for my anxiety...No, you don't understand...I've got..Hold on, I've got another call...This is she...You'll front me four days?...Bless you...How long...See you then...Hello, I'll call you back..."
Softly, she placed the phone on the table and turned toward him. In a squeaky voice, she said:
"Hello. I'm a writer."
A small smile ran across his face.
"Really? So, am I. Are you published?"
Her eyes went toward the floor.
"Not in a long time. Back then it was mostly scientific stuff. But I had an accident and with concussion I have constant anxiety. I have to have my meds just to exist."
"That's terrible." He said, taking a sip of the cooling cup and not mentioning his eavesdropping. "I suppose you've heard all the thick skull jokes."
She frowned at that.
"I think I'm paranoid. No. Not that, more complicated. Poetry and rhymes are always running through my head."
"That's a good thing, usually."
"No, it's not. I'm manipulated. They make me fall down for a thrill I hope they'll prop me up with some more pills. I'm going down to the Pharmacy to see."
The tune almost immediately began playing in his head. Funny how a song you haven’t heard in twenty years pops up so readily. With a shrug, he returned to his game, shoulders twitching to the imaginary beat.
Topic-Toll Free Calling- Barbara Kausteklis
Pic Guesses-Pizza (in blog) paella, hot out of the oven, party, three meat, supreme, cheesy, paddle, dinner,