Brain on Butch VI: The Gift

by rheeb

After having to leave the house before making the detrimental and unwise choice of setting it on fire, I decided to go to Food Lion to get some Cheez-Its.  I had a left-side migraine and didn’t have any water with me, so I decided to visit the water fountain as soon as I got there.  I didn’t know if I’d see Pam, because she really wasn’t my concern.  But when I walked in, I glanced down the checkout isles, and there she was.  Oh, Pam!  But I was sad, so I kept walking to the cracker isle, with a subtle smile and tears welling behind my eyes. To my eventual chagrin, I didn’t grab a cart or anything, so as I headed to the water fountain/bathroom area, I decided to leave the box of Cheez-Its right outside so that someone wouldn’t mistake my ass for being a thief.  And as I turned the corner, there was Pam, leaning forward, drinking from the fountain.  Kismet.  I said, “How are you?”  And she stood up and said, “How are you?” I realized how short she actually is.  I don’t know why she was so tall to me before!  She’s only about two inches taller than I am (which is still hot).  For what seemed like twenty minutes, I was shuffling through my purse trying to find Advil, when she headed to the restroom.  I took a sip from the fountain and swallowed the pill, wondering the whole time if I just happened to be touching the same side of the fountain that Pam did.

A few minutes later, after perusing the store for other items, I headed to her checkout line.  Once at the front I said, “We made the pumpkins.”  I was hoping that she’d remember our previous conversation.  She said, “Oh, you did?” She totally fucking remembered!  I said, “Yeah, they turned out really well.”  She then said, “Yeah, we’re making ours this weekend.”  I replied, “Oh, the smart way.”  I threw our rotting pumpkins out this morning.  She said, “Yeah, we got a big, big one this year.”  I said, “Where is everyone getting these gigantic pumpkins?”  She said, “Well, we went down to Middletown Road,” she pointed (and I loved that), “and the ones like you got from here were around twelve bucks.  So I said to my daughter, ‘No, put that one back.  I will get one from work.'”  She continued, “We got a new shipment in after you guys got yours.”  I said, “Oh OK, this was our first time celebrating Halloween, so we’re trying to do it up since we grew up super religious.”  And she interjected, “Yes, my grandma used to say, ‘You’re celebrating Halloween?  Don’t you know you’re worshiping the devil?,’ but when she passed, we were like, ‘Let’s do the pumpkins and everything!”  She continued, “My daughter, now, since the grand baby is here, is really into it.” Then some chick came up and totally ended our conversation.  Before I left, I said, “Well, good luck,” and she said, “You, too.”

It was great talking to her.  Like seriously, it was awesome.  And I’m still not sure if she is gay or not.  I almost don’t even care anymore.  I will never tell her this, unless we end up being friends one day, but just seeing her when I go to the store is amazing.  It’s so rare for me to see someone that I’m attracted to, so I really just appreciate her presence.  She makes me smile, and with how I’ve been feeling lately (especially today), that was more than I could have asked for.  So Pam, although you still don’t know my name (or hell, do you, because I always swipe my card?) you, just being you, checking out people’s groceries, make me happy.  And I consider you a gift.

Songs of the Post: Adia by Sarah McLachlan (playing in the store as I was perusing); The Gift by Annie Lennox