things i saw today

A dark-haired child in a red onesie running full speed on the sidewalk just before the stop light between the tanning salon and the blockbuster. He darted quickly into an alley.
An acquaintance on her front steps, smoking a cigarette with her headphones on, hand in pocket. It had been raining, or was raining slightly. I stared at her through the red light because I was stunned and had never seen her look like that before. She was like a different person, and sad in a way that I wasn’t scared by.
A couch half-submerged in leaves which were glopped thickly over someone's whole front yard. It looked like 3 trees worth of leaves, and one living room’s worth of couch.
In the cancer society thrift store and I was trying on an R.E.I. flannel in the mirror. The sleeves were too short but I cuffed them. A middle-aged blonde woman in a striped turtleneck sweater was looking at me. I thought she wanted met to move my stuff, but she said “No, I was just thinking, if she doesn’t buy that, I will!”
I laughed. As always, after she said this I just wanted it more and I was protective over my find.
I folded the shirt on the chair and kept looking around. The woman was there with her daughter who was about 6, and her own mother, who looked about 60 or a little more.
“Do you know any people who wear pants but no underpants?” the 6 year-old daughter asked. They had just been talking about whether she could buy a ridiculous, heavily sequined hat patchwork hat, but had decided that the sequins would fall off and go everywhere.
“Yeah, some people do that, I don’t do that,” said the woman, “I don’t go commando ever. Do you do that? If you do, I don’t even want to know, child! I don't want to think about what that would mean – It’s like your sister. She learned to vibrate her tongue when she was little – but now that she’s 17, it’s like, that's something a mother worries about, you know?”
the girl tried to vibrate her tongue, “yeah, how does she do that?” 
“I don’t even know!” said the mom, throwing her hands in the air.
I was leaning over trying to conceal my laughter in the next isle. I grabbed the flannel shirt and held it over to her. “I changed my mind about this shirt,” I said, “you should take it.”
She was surprised and tried to refuse but she eventually relented, and she tried it on, and got excited, and it fit her much better than me (“I have short arms,” she said) and the little girl said “it fits you perfectly!” and she said, “I know!”

1 comment:

  1. i love this. i always want to write down conversations that i overhear. but i always get the words then meaning mixed up. u were always better at eavesdropping