Saturday, January 17, 2009
Parking Lot Pain
So I take this picture in the parking lot at Baja Fresh today. The owner of the car is looking out the window at the time, and is not pleased that I appear to be snapping pictures of his license plate.
I think to tell him he has a big string of gum attached to his tire, but he already seems a little sad, sitting there alone with his pinto beans and large soda, looking out the window at strangers.
I imagine he had a date that was supposed to be meeting him, a hard-eyed blond he picked up in the frozen foods aisle where he was stocking up on 3 for 10 dollar pot pies, but he and I know she isn't ever going to come. She's already driven her car past his in the parking lot, just moments before, and seen the gum. "Loser," she muttered, and drove on. It's just as well. She would never have understood him.
I make sympathetic eye contact with him as we walk through the door, but he swings his stumpy little legs free of the high stool and slides down, avoiding my eye. Poor, poor, little stumpy man, I say to him in my head. I feel his pain, because I am sensitive like that.
After lunch we drive to Michael's, because my son needs sequins, doll hair and a pound of felt in order to bring Ben Franklin back to life. On the way back to the car, I see this:
I try to distract the children, because they're too young to be confronted by a scene so filled with pathos. Just like you, it is immediately clear to me what has happened.
"Let it be on your head," I murmer, "shoe repair man, who chose to hide your store way back behind the real estate office making it impossible to find, resulting in wide-spread shoe abandonment."
Somewhere out there, a tiny transvestite man has been forced to wear his pilgrim shoes.