Monday, April 29, 2013

Covert Action

I don’t remember ever doing what I did yesterday afternoon. I feel my face flush with embarrassment just thinking about it. I was in a dreadful hurry, the clock ticking away, when I remembered I had to get a birthday card and I needed it NOW. There was a Target store nearby so I parked and raced toward it. As soon as I entered, I saw her, a woman I did not want to see. She’s a lovely woman, a writer like me, an old hippie desperately clinging to her old hippie ways, but she talks, and talks, and talks, and half the time I’m not sure what she’s talking about. And I was in a hurry. 

I thought about the PBS series I had enjoyed watching, an English thing about spies. How did they go about not being seen? I raised my coat collar, turned my back, pulled my phone out and used it to hide my face. I sneaked further into the store and saw her ahead of me. I watched her back until she disappeared around a corner. Carefully, looking both ways, I made my way to the card section. I thought about buying a hat or scarf to hide my identity, but with the problem of time, gave it up. I scampered to the express lane, again sneaking glances, checked out, and made it to my car. Whew!

My relief was short-lived as I pulled out of the parking lot. I thought about this older woman, no husband, no lover, no family, desperate to make friends, still locked in an old hippie style of dress, her long grey locks hanging limply beside her pale cheeks. Her old tie-die blouse peeking out from the cardigan. I could have at least said hello. Maybe this time she’d have shut up. Maybe…


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