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Feb 27, 2008

All Up in Her Business

. Feb 27, 2008
19 Whispers

A mundane trip to the grocery store finds me deciding whether my cats would like grilled chicken and liver or shredded beef for dinner. I go with the beef; chicken AND liver is even too much for me to imagine. I check out the people ahead of me in the express lane, counting items to see who has more than 10. No violators this time.

My turn to put items on the conveyor belt. Wet streaks slide by and under the metal end. A piece of lettuce bumps along the corner nearest the cash register. The cashier doesn't notice. He banters with the female bagger. Both are black; he is perhaps 50 with a gray-rimmed short afro, round prescription glasses and nails a little too long. He smiles and reveals one gold bicuspid. She is early 20s with smooth skin and beautiful make-up, light pink lipstick and a wide, sparkly smile. She wears dark burgundy braids.

The cashier doesn't look at me as he scans my items. He glances down, picks up a can and turns right back to her, busy with conversation. She responds but looks up or away as she speaks to him. After my last can, he states my total and says to her:

Him: Hey, you need a ride home, girl?
Her: Why do you say that?
Him: Uh, well, I heard you had a car accident today.
Her: (looks directly at him) Why you all up in my bizzznes?
Him: Huh?
Her: Why are you concerning yourself with my business?
Him: Okay. I'm sorry. Walk home, then.
Her: My boyfriend is picking me up, thank you very much.

She bends down to restock the bags. He gazes at her backside. My hand is still extended with payment. Only when I let a quarter fall to the counter does he snap back to present and finish my check-out.

Feb 11, 2008

Cougars at the Casino

. Feb 11, 2008
12 Whispers

A spontaneous trip to the Indian casino puts me at the Crazy 4 poker table between two chain smoking older men laughing too loudly at the dealer's jokes. After a hand worse than the first, I slide under the smoke cloud and off my stool, heading for the terrace with a panoramic view of the mountain vista. Fresh, cool air flushes my face as I open the glass door and step into the sunshine. This alone is worth the hour drive. About 20 others enjoy the view, sitting at little tables against the railing.

Some have cocktails and chat, others simply sit in silence gazing at the mountains. I find the perfect nook and settle into the corner chair, turning it to face the railing. Two women chatter on my left. Their conversation does not pause when I sit down. They are both blond with hair styled in the edgey cuts so fashionable these days. The one with her back to me wears a turquoise top and a thick gold chain around her neck. As she speaks she waves her left hand up and around, red nails swirling. Her right hand holds a glass of white wine.
Her friend is also heavily necklaced with gold chains that drop down an impressive cleavage revealing an orange tan underneath her tight white sweater. She sports large black sunglasses with the Channel logo on the side, which I see when she steals glances of the vista as her friend drones on.

The face I can see is tight, but both pairs of hands and little cracks in the voices suggest late 40s, early 50s. The one in white holds a drink in one hand and a cig in the other. She nods in agreement as her friend rants:

Turquoise: I mean, I just told him, I said, "Just tell me right now. Is this how it's gonna be? Grilling me every time I don't call back right away?".
White: Oh. Yeah. Right.
Turquoise: Right? Who needs that? I don't need that.
White: Who needs it?
Turquoise: I told him. I'm not your wife, hell I'm not your girlfriend -
White: Hahaha! Exactly. Oh these guys, these poor guys just don't know what to do with us.
Turquoise: TELL me. I mean, tell me about it. The insecurity, the checking up, the checking in. I don't need that.
White: No, no. Me neither.
Turquoise: He's acting like a little girl. Haha! He's acting like one of his little girlfriends he complains to me about!
White: Ha! Isn't that just precious. Well, here, girl (she holds her drink to toast). We've come full circle.
Turquoise: Cheers to that! Come on. Let's go find some young and dumbs at the bar.

The two pop compacts, relipstick and strut inside. I finish jotting down some notes of this conversation and look to the blue sky, about to commit the scenario to memory. A hawk circles high above, looking for prey.

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