We placed the case of Gypsy Tears on the counter. You asked for my ID. Called me sir. Then you asked for hers. “Oh, sorry ma’am, we don’t accept Manitoban ID’s in BC anymore, new legislation.” Your face sympathetic. I looked to her with my own face struggling between humour and confusion. This went on for a few more moments before your belly erupted and rolled with laughter, nearly hitting the till. “Ah, I do that to all out o’ towners, thanks for being good sports.” We left smiling, wishing you and your jovial mid-section worked at every liquor store in the Lower Mainland.
You held the door open and smiled as I jogged my way down the hall towards the exit. “No Problem” you chimed, a melody in those words, as I thanked you and picked up the pace.
What you didn’t know and what I now regret was that I was running away from an unfortunately inspired gaseous release. As I ran past and into the cool November air the stench climbed and met my nose, chasing me down the street and undoubtedly assaulting you in its wake. Hopefully it did not extinguish your smile or sully your song.
We stood inside of the shop watching you outside of the shop, petting your finely raised quaff of hair in the reflection of the expansive storefront window. You turned your head to different angles, sunlight tracing the slow upward arch of your hair. It had been almost thirty-seconds of this, at one point you had made to leave then caught a concerning peripheral glimpse of your person and returned.
Eventually I waved to you from inside, you did not wave back just turned sharply on your heel into the open arms of the autumn afternoon.