"How convenient for me."
"Ha ha ha ha. I know, right?"
She was walking her little dog. A chocolate brown scraggly rat. The cutest little wire haired rat you I ever saw. I learned over time to address the human before addressing the dog. I haven't seen this woman before.
"So, how are you today?"
"Adorable little dog." People like hearing that. Even when it's not true.
"I'm doing fine. Thank you. Have a nice walk. It's a beautiful day out there."
See? Gracious, right off the bat. Whereas she could have been all, "What's this white guy doing talking to me?"
Then beginning with the first errand, a continuation of a mule task mentioned earlier in comments. Party A instructed party B to have party C (me) pick up a dugout. So off to the dispensary a block to the east. Not at all difficult but walking is my worst thing.
A dugout is a piece of paraphernalia made of a small block of wood, the size of a small cell phone that can fit easily and unnoticeably in one's pocket. The original version had a thin top that slid across two grooves one way or the the other to expose either a dug out pocket to contain a small amount of weed or the the other direction to expose spring loaded bronze metal tube shaped like a baseball bat, thus the name dugout.
The dispensary didn't have them the first time I went. Party B will arrive in Denver in a few hours so I checked again. They just received a new shipment. Expecting it to cost something like $25.00 or so I was prepared to pay whatever they charged.
This device is intended to pack a small amount for outdoor dance, a hiking trip, a ski trip, what have you. The user shoves the thick end into the side with the weed so that one-hit is loaded into the end. It's not passed around between users as a joint. It's just a single hit deal. Very unobtrusive. Except for the odor that smells like a live skunk walked into the space, wherever it is, concert hall, ski slope, football stadium. The odor is incredibly distinct and aggressive. If you've never in you life smelled it you'd still know exactly what it is when the first odor molecule hits your nose. You'd go, *ding* so that's weed.
But once there inside the shop the receptionist greeted me like a long awaited friend. She literally lit up the room with her smile. She is truly gorgeous. And I noticed she did not behave the same way when other customers came in. She did not greet everyone else similarly. Honestly, I think my canes make me stick out in people's minds. They don't fit. I'm not downtrodden. I don't complain about pain or woes. I appear normal. My appearance is somewhat unique and the canes simply do not fit and so that lodges in people's minds. I think. This is why all these young people treat me with such respect. I think. All of this is rather new to me, and this is the way I've come to understand people, especially women, but also young men. I do not fit their stereotype of a handicapped person and that induces them to be noticeably more eagerly gracious. They hop to it like you would not believe. It's astounding.
I whispered to her over the counter a joke that just happened. I said, "A couple just now overtook me on the sidewalk and their manner of dress caused me to suppose they'd be customers here. They guy was dressed as a Dead Head, but the woman cause me to think, "Man oh man, some women really should not go out in public wearing stretch pants." The receptionist was taking a sip of soda pop the moment I said that and she choked and spit up her soda. "Oh, I should have waited until you took your sip." Her giggling and laughter at my demeaning another woman was priceless. It was mean. And she loved it.
"I called earlier. Can I just buy the the dugout here?"
"Sorry, you have to go through the whole rigamarole."
"Rigamarole. It's a pleasure."
"I'll check. Just come back. I'll buzz you in."
Once in the back I was surprised to see the dugouts have changed by design. These dugouts are not like the originals. There's a whole stack and they're colorful. And the baseball bat now has the appearance of an ordinary filtered cigarette. Another clerk, another gorgeous female joined me in deciding which color is best. I'm trying to decide for party A, an athlete, a cyclist, a mountain trail walker. So the ones that look swirly orange somewhat resemble mountain trails, the blue swirled ones resemble the sky, the blue and green swirled ones resemble earth and sky. I'm gravitating toward those putting myself in the presumed mind of party A who I've never even met. Then the shorter woman said, "I like the red ones." The second woman said, "Those are my favorite too." So red it is then. "Thank you ladies, you made up my mind." Just like that.
So that's that. First errand done.
But here's what I want to tell you. On the way back almost home and near the garage door again I'm overtaken again this time in the alley by short corpulent mamasita and two young children, one child taller than the other, I'd say, probably about nine and eleven or twelve years of age. Both Mexican, obviously, all three are headed in the direction of the nearby art museum or to the Civic Center. I have no idea what is going on there. And the internet is useless for informing. I have no idea where nor how all these people get their information about events, but they do. All three are well dressed. And I wish I had my camera out. I'm going to have to keep my phone handier when I take it because I miss so much great stuff, the younger shorter boy walking in the middle of the group is wearing a colorful propeller beanie and the propeller is twirling around amusingly.
I love these ridiculous things. I wanted one of these caps so badly when I was this boy's age. He is the Mexican version of Beaver. At this late stage I'm jealous of this boy for having one and wearing it with such panache. My parents refused it, and absolutely, there was no way on earth they'd allow me such a wonderful cap. A hat with a propeller! Come on! It's the best hat ever. I could not convince them. The only cap worth having. You can pretend that you can lift off the ground with it. You can pretend that you're constantly having great ideas and constantly thinking amazing things. A cap that does something. the most imaginative cap in the world. The best cap ever invented. And at that age there's nothing funny or ridiculous about it. The thing is brilliant. But no. I could not have one. Another thing I was denied for my own perceived protection. And this boy does. And then the thought of an immigrant family taking up something so purely and uniquely American warmed my heart, warmed my whole soul. I nearly exploded with pride. The sight of it was beautiful. This enduring cap on an immigrant family child was beautiful to behold. It was the best thing I saw all day. Of all the beautiful people I encountered, of all the beautiful acts of grace extended directly toward me, of all the things I encountered this day, the colorful propeller cap on the boy topped them all.