Thursday, March 6, 2014

And so it goes.

Here we are: this is a short, though more of a flash fiction piece than anything. Also, it's about life and not about anything else. 

Soon I'll add another story:

Funny thing happened when I was out and about in my little neighborhood here. I was shopping for a few pieces of wrapping paper and I noticed a woman, large, being followed by an elderly woman. The younger woman kept telling the older one to leave her alone. The older one, with an African accent, didn't even consider these requests. She kept following the woman, saying something which I could barely catch. And besides I was busy, so I did a double take but saw that the younger woman seemed to have the situation in control. Of course my mind rolled through the multiple scenarios. It could be that they knew each other, that one perhaps was mistaken about knowing the other. It could have been many things. Was she harassing the younger lady for money? I walked to the check out line, not thinking about the odd couple, but rather the wrapping paper in my hand and the miles it must have traveled to get to this store and furthermore the poor worker at the factory who created it. The dank smell of diesel engines idling flew in as the automatic doors nearby slid open.

In front of me I saw the old lady still harassing the younger one. The old lady seemed more stooped over than before. When the younger one, apparently at her wits end, turned and yelled loud enough for everyone to at least turn for a second, the older lady only leaned away, looked up to the ceiling and went back to harassing the younger woman. That reaction didn't seem right. She must have known the younger woman (or be absolutely crazy) because her reaction wasn't frightened of the bigger woman; it was assured, in the sense that she had dealt with this before. I moved closer to hear. The older woman was asking about someone with a girls name. Saying that she was going into a life of trouble. The younger woman, paying at the cashier now, rolled her eyes and looked up. I know, I know. But what do you want me to do? I'm too busy mom.

The older woman did the same reaction, sighing heavily. There was a definite love in her eyes. She leaned in and continued on talking. This time the younger woman didn't seem so angry. They left the store. I came up to the cashier and fished out my wallet. There were only a few things that I could think of that would result in a mother following her adult daughter into a store and talking to her. They seemed, in a way, to be talking past each other. Perhaps it was the obvious cultural differences. I knew the burden that the daughter must have had allowing competing memes at home and away to take up her time and energy. The other possibilities, the reasons the mother was so adamant, filled my chest with an odd sadness.

The wake of the mother-daughter leaving was like any normal wake of even the craziest things in NYC. People went back to being completely normal. Perhaps the craziness should be attributed to the people who ignore rather than the ones who feel? I stepped out into the rattling road of a subway and even more idling trucks. I walked home, keeping the wrapping paper close at hand.

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