“Some has flowers and some has cats and some has dogs and some has candles and some are praying.” I knew she was talking about the stone carved figures by Demdaco, but oh how much her words felt prophetic. The young girl played with the little stone angels and spoke words that would mean, I was almost positive, something completely different later in my life. “Some has flowers, huh?” I asked the bored little girl.
Her mother laid brown table cloths and taupe runners and cocoa placemats on the sales counter. She was shorthaired and efficient, probably liberal. “I’m not done yet; I’m still looking.” She retorted, as I walked behind the register. The woman looked at the wooden spoons and then at the whisks.
“So,” I asked the little girl, “d’you have one of these?” I pointed to the stone angel holding the cat; she was favoring it the most. “Do you have a kitten?”
Her eyes lit up and she shouted “No, I have one of these!”(Little girls often don’t know their volume controls.) She laughed. How obvious! I was silly for even asking! She picked up the angel with a candle and, holding it close to her pink ruffled chest, she began to sing an indecipherable song in which occasionally sprung forth the word angel.
“’s not mine, she’s my husband’s” the woman explained. “’s got quite the imagination; come on Kaylee. I’m ready, thank you.” She said assuming I was ready. “These runners, do they come without the fringe?” Taupe fringeless runners were the most important thing to her, more important than chocolate placemats and wooden spoons, more important than Kaylee. She set the girl up on the counter and followed me down a step to the cloths.
I tightened my jaw and, sensing the desperation in her voice, frantically searched the cellophane packages for the woman’s joy. After producing it, she gave me a check and a renewed sense of self worth.
I smiled at the quirk of fate. Here I was, sliding this woman’s proudest accomplishment into a paper sac. That morning I had slid one of my own proudest accomplishments into a paper sac. A self-made corned beef and pastrami sandwich with spinach, Muenster, deli mustard and cucumber on healthnut bread. I had even wrapped it in wax paper. Soon enough, I would slide that out of the sac and partake in self reliance.
“Okay Hun, go put the angel back on the shelf where you found it.” She set Kaylee on the carpet and sent her off, running.
“What do you suppose it all means?” I asked the woman.
She was puzzled.
“What your daughter said,” I clarified. “‘Some has flowers and some has cats and some has dogs and some has candles and some are praying.’ I mean besides the stone models; what do you think it means?” I was mystified. It had to mean something else. It had to.
“I don’t know; zip up your coat; is everything in the bag?–thank you.” She took the little girl’s sleeve and the heavy door closed fast and hard. I was left alone to consider the tiny daughter’s insight. I took out a thick inky pen and wrote those words on a card. “This will be valuable information someday,” I defended my hand’s actions to my head.
The backroom lunch table is covered in pictures. Always the happy moments in the employees’ lives: weddings, births, brunch parties, families, and pets. I unfold the wax paper on top a series of wedding photos. I set my soda can on top a man holding a koala. Out of my wallet comes the card. “…Some has candles…” I whisper, covering me and my happy sisters with the card. It’s a bad picture; we look emaciated and pale. With sandwich in my mouth, my front teeth cutting and my back teeth grinding, I watch the pictures on the table. There are more on the new, black filing cabinet in front of me. Some pictures are taped to the back door and still others are in large collages, framed above the water cooler and microwave. So many people have sat in this exact same spot, cutting their lunch with front teeth and grinding it with back teeth.
Everyone is connected, everyone related. Behind me the growth of a family is charted. Pink girls with flowers and feathered bangs hold cakes or boys’ anxious palms. I smile at Brenda’s mammoth St. Bernard sleeping with a kitten, her infant grandson with long, filing-cabinet-black hair. Underneath my brown paper sac is the final stage of the rising family. I see John, venerable yet enigmatic. I think about John, established and cautious, passing the flame to a faceless hand.
“…Some has candles,” I read from the card, “and some are praying.” All the faces taped up on walls or pressed under glass listen; they light their candles and live their lives. They light their candles and mourn. So many lives connected through one building. Some have youth and some have friends and some have lovers, but all of us have candles.
“…And some are praying.”
Post a comment in response:
|© 2002-2008. Blurty Journal. All rights reserved.|