Life Goes On Without Me

I was at the bank the other week, standing in line with my check for ten dollars made out to cash - I'd be getting it all in quarters. Laundry time.

There was this rather attractive, married, forty-something lady in the line next to mine - long curly black hair, blue eyes, black skirt, black blouse, black pumps - talking on her cell phone. When she was done with her conversation (a conversation which she did not seem to be too pleased with), she began tapping her fingers on the deposit-slip-writing counter that was between us. She was a mini-flurry of cantankerous activity.

Suddenly, it was silent. I didn't hear her talking or tapping. I glanced over, and damn if she wasn't checking me out. Have to admit I was looking sharp, or as sharp as a bum like me can get on a warm spring day: carpenter-jean shorts, white teeshirt and black canvas loafers. My hair was in the all-important fourth week past my previous haircut; meaning it hadn't grown enough to be too raggedy, nor was it short enough where it required a bunch of greasy kid stuff to hold the cowlicks down.

And yes, she checked me out. Gave me the once-over, first looking me down from head to toe, then looked me up again. I got a tingly, weird, not-entirely-unpleasant feeling all over. Wow. Of course, she was out of my league and married. I could tell that she was a take-charge lady, one that likely owned her own business. (So do I, I guess, but hers is probably successful.) Since she had checked out the goods, I considered quoting her an hourly rate for services. But she seemed so competent, so demanding, so impatient, so on top of things (as it were), that I knew I'd end up mowing her lawn and washing her car for free every week once I was done upstairs. So I kept my slacker mouth shut.

The next week, I was locking my Schwinn up at the Hennepin-Lake intersection. She pulled up to the curb in a tan Saab, chatting away on her cell phone. A No. 6 bus came along, honking again and again at her because she was parked in the bus stop. She sped off, taking a left onto Lake, not using a turn signal.

Dude, I heard myself say, she'd have you mowing that lawn and washing that car.

[Back to Exiled #24] [Back to Exiled on Main Street] [Other Writing] [Poetry] [Contact Bill Tuomala]