As I sit here cradling my peppermint fatty ice cream that cost $5.19 from the 24 hour Kroger where the self check-out computer took my quarter; I wonder If this is going to be a really shitty first draft. I knew it made a strange clink when it was ingested by the bowels of the beast; my quarter that is, not the possible shitty first draft. I even tapped the little silver doggy door leading to the cubical of coin-return-purgatory just to check for my clink-sick coin. No quarter. Shook it off as paranoia and un-rumpled my five one-dollar bills and slowly started feeding them into the mouth of the monster. I mused about how it would have been easier to just have gone to the real check out lane where (sigh) human interaction would have had to have taken place when suddenly the demon’s screen portrayed in red a .19 still left due. I blinked as I often do when my eyes need moistening and turned to the register shepherd to solve this injustice. I told her I had given it a quarter. “What? How much?” she said in an unknown and un-amused accent. And I explained again that her little lamb had eaten my silver coin and that I did not in fact owe it a .19 in red. After banging her palm on the not so wooly panels of the evil device that stole my monies, she swiftly returned to her podium and made some movements in her own demon box out which came my proper change.
And walked away. Still un-amused and foreign.
I said thank you many times and wondered if she believed me. I meant to ask her what language she had spoken when she had been chatting with her co-workers while I had been drooling over my fatty peppermint icecream purchase. But as I left I found myself being gracious to the back of her head and the wrong employees caught my thankyouthankyou throw-ups. Throw-ups as in barf, not tags. Which I also saw a good deal of tonight in East Atlanta. Tags not barf.
I walked out the sliding doors and immediately stretched to hear the sound that had captured my eardrums on the way in…the sound of chimes, and not the tinkling fairy shimmysparkle chimes, but a new kind. It came from the rafters of the half constructed office buildings across the way. It sounded thick and far away. It was heavy and metallic. Almost Aisian and ominous, but beautiful and seductive too. Like something that the half-fish/half-man character from the movie Waterworld would have dredged up from the sea or had hanging around his raft.
I couldn't tell where it was coming from or what was making the lovely noise, all I could do was stare up into the unfinished mess and smile. The sound may of hailed from the towering cranes that hovered ace high above the skeletal sky rises. One of which was festively glowing red and green. Which made me stop and think who decided that? Who’s job was that to do? Did they carefully calculate how many days after Thanksgiving until it would be socially acceptable to put up the Christmas lights or did they just string ‘em up on a cheerful, elfish whim? Who does that sort of thing to such a sturdy scary piece of hulking machinery that is so strong it can take out entire buildings? BIG cement and steel wire structures? I love it; absolutely love it. It made me smile to see such a brute of a thing twinkling in the distance. And the wind chimes or whatever they were, I loved too. I loved that they called to my creative inner workings and enticed me to turn to a complete stranger in the middle of the parking lot and ask if he heard them too. Who, not less than a minute earlier I had been suspicious of stealing. Because of his giant backback. Because everyone with a backpack (and especially if its giant) must be stealing (insert rolling of eyes). It’s a spotitgotit sort of special situation. BUT-stealing stranger in the night or not; in that moment, when the construction chimes were chiming, and the wind before the storm was winding, and the leaves were dancing in secret patterns…I was full.
And life was beautiful.
And also, just in case you needed to know this, apparently most problems can be solved with the use of a hyphen. In writing that is, not life. But hey, maybe it works in life too. We should all try it! Insert hyphens freely people! SEE WHAT HAPPENS! Who knows? No squiggly green lines for us!