Am I really in such a hurry?

14 10 2003

I went to the post office to mail cookies to Luke. (I am such a push-over.) And after that, I went to the grocery store. When I turned into the baking goods aisle, the only other person in it–a heavy-set older woman with too much lipstick and a gaudy flower pinned in the middle of her shirt–was talking out loud to herself about the fact that “all I can find is Pan-Kits” and “where in the world are the Corn-Kits” and “I can’t find anything in this store anymore.” (They’re remodeling Kroger. Lots of stuff has been moved around. Shoppers of habit wander the aisles with dazed expressions.) When she saw me, she stopped talking to herself and started talking to me. “See here,” she said. “These are all Pan-Kits! I don’t see any Corn-Kits here, and I really like cornbread. I don’t want to make pancakes.”

I’ve never been introduced to Pan-Kits or Corn-Kits before, but I decided to plunge in and see if I could be of service. “Maybe the cornbread mixes are somewhere else in the aisle,” I suggested. I walked with her about five feet further down, and sure enough, there they were. Corn-Kits.

“Why, thank you! I can’t find anything since they rearranged the store. But I’m so glad, because . . . ”

I was headed back to my buggy, but she kept talking, ” . . .my little dog likes cornbread.” I glanced back at her just as a sheepish, guilty expression crossed her face, as though she’d just confessed to me a terrible sin. She quickly added, “Poor little thing has glaucoma and is in lots of pain.”

Good enough excuse for giving him cornbread, I suppose. I started to walk on again, thinking maybe she was finished. But she wasn’t.

“I feel sorry for the little thing, but when you live alone you need the company.”

I turned back and looked at her as though seeing her for the first time. Loneliness wears many faces. It talks to itself in the baking goods aisle, and makes conversation with anyone who will listen. It bakes cornbread for its only friend, an aging dog suffering from glaucoma.

I smiled at her. “It is nice to have the company, isn’t it? I hope your dog enjoys the cornbread.”

She smiled back. “I hope so, too.”


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5 responses

14 10 2003
ragamuffen

This makes me like you even more. I think those lonely people have a good eye generally. I think maybe I am one of them sometimes. And if I saw you in the baking isle, I would most certainly chat atya.

xoxo

15 10 2003
jeannedamoff

You, Me, and Eleanor Rigby

Of course you would chat at me. I’d be sending out a Corn-Kit vibe you couldn’t resist. :o)

Then we would chant the rainbow until the store employees asked us to leave. And we’d be laughing hysterically, so they would think we were crazy. And they’d be right.

I think I need therapy.

15 10 2003
ragamuffen

Re: You, Me, and Eleanor Rigby

I think you are perfect! No therapy, it interrupts the perfection.

xoxo

15 10 2003
allenb

Yanno, I wouldn’t trade you for all the corn kits in the world. You are just priceless.

15 10 2003
jeannedamoff

:o) Hee hee. Thanks! It is so great to know I’m worth more than Corn-Kits. At least to you. (For some reason I really like the name Corn-Kits. I’m afaid that’s going to become one of my random references now.)

Your comments are a gift. Please know I read each one with gratitude.

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