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day 95: prelude, a play

Om Shrim Klim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha

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Old City

It’s so obvious here: I was born to be 60;

I hope I can get ready in time.

A child counting

The woman I just met!

I’m not sure words can describe her, but I’ll try –

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Act 3, Scene 2

Old City, Philadelphia

Rachel can’t find what she’s looking for: parking, an envelope, stamps, a bathroom. She asks different women she doesn’t know; they all send her to the post office. It looks like a tourist stop. And inside, she’s back:

Rachel: Hi! Do you sell postcard stamps?

Woman at the counter: Yes we do. How many would you like?

Rachel: Uuuuuummmm…10.

Woman, shaking her head in agreement: Now, 10 is a good number.

Rachel, laughing: It is, huh.

Then, thinking about her imminent sushi lunch blind date and a desire for cash back…

Rachel: Can I pay with a debit card?

Woman: You sure can. Cash back?

Rachel: YES.

Woman: Increments of 10, up to 50.

Rachel: 20. Gosh, thank you so much.

Woman: You’re welcome.

The woman pulls out stamps with apples on them. Thinking about the Christmas stamps at home,

Rachel: Those are great stamps. Thank you so much! Everything I need…

Woman, smiling: You know, sometimes it just works out that way. I like the apples, they remind you to eat more fruit. [A restaurant nearby] has a salad with apples on it. I didn’t think I’d like apples on a salad, but you know what? It’s good. I’m gonna get that again today. I have this banana here I’ve been working on for 3 days….

Rachel: You know, if you freeze a banana –

Woman, nodding her head, interrupting: Yea, you freeze the banana –

Rachel pauses, leaving space for the tradition of Old New Yorkers to finish sentences with the things that they do. Not once has one of Rachel’s sentences been finished correctly in New York. (She loves them just the same.)

Woman: – and…?

She wasn’t interrupting; she was actively listening.

Rachel: …..aaaaand. Well, peel it before you freeze it. Put it in a blender –

Woman, nodding: You put the banana in the blender –

Rachel: With –

Woman: With –

Rachel: (pause – just in case) ….a little bit of cream –

Woman: A little bit of cream –

Rachel: And you blend it!

Woman: (pause)

Rachel: …aaaand it tastes just like ice cream!

Woman: And it tastes just like ice cream! You know, like those Yonanas they have on QVC.

Rachel: Exactly.

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Can you believe how perfect she is.

People smile at me here like they’ve seen me before. They probably haven’t, but I understand.

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