Saturday 7 March 2009

Shop Girl with a bit of Mustard

I have a go at putting my blog on My Space.
I’m trying to be pro-active. You know, go global.
My profile looks like a take-away menu designed with an etch-a-sketch.
“Shop Girl,” my brother scoffs. “You’re more like Cave Girl.”
My computer skills are the worst he’s seen.
“Go back to playing with rocks then build up to pen and paper,” he says.
I swear at my laptop, sob a little then go back to bed and fall asleep sniffing my pillow.
The next day I’m tired and grumpy.
A customer brings me in a ginger bread man first thing in the morning.
I don’t think all this sugar is doing me any good but I start nibbling at its head anyway.
I’m down to its smartie belly button when Connie walks in wearing her big red cloak.
She’s combed and lacquered her hair into a silver quiff; her nails are bright pink.
“Wow!” I say, “Where’ve you been all this time?”
I haven't seen her for months. She’s been coming in every other week since the shop opened
When I was little I found her monologues so boring I’d run upstairs and sit in the stock room until I heard her leave.
I’ve warmed to her over the years.
In fact, I’m surprised at how relieved I am to see her. I was beginning to wonder if she’d popped off.
“Ginger bread man?” I say, offering her its remaining leg. “Customers keep bringing me cakes.”
“Because you got nothing on you,” she says, cocking her nose up at the gingery amputation, “you’re like one of them anorexits.”
I’m expecting her to go on auto pilot after that and tell me about her blood tests, the time they shoved a camera through her groin, every steak and kidney pie she’s ever defrosted and the curtain tiebacks her friend once bought her in Bristol.
“I’ve had a cold since the 20th December,” she says.
“That’s a long time.”
Then she lifts up her top and shows me how the coughing has affected her hiatus hernia.
“They think I’ve split open my stomach,” she says.
I don’t really understand how she’s still standing with a split open stomach.
“Doesn’t it hurt?” I ask.
“Of course it hurts. I got a taxi to the doctors, didn’t I?”
I get distracted by the white-haired hippie who’s gleefully running her fingers through all the crystal.
I want to slap her hand.
“Yes, it is crystal!” I call out.
That only seems to egg her on.
“Oh it’s lovely,” she gushes, and sends a chandelier into a spin.
I rush over to stop it, inwardly groaning.
“Can you not do that?”
“Oh sorry!”
Next she delves into the boxes of odd crystal we’re sorting out by the counter. She holds one up by the wall then drops it.
“Oh sorry!” she says again.
Connie rolls her eyes; she doesn’t like nonsense.
Actually, I reckon Connie scares a few people.
Not me though.
I can see something now that I couldn’t see when I was little. I can see someone needing company.
When the hyper-active woman has gone, Connie tells me about her blood tests and about the time they shoved a camera through her groin.
She tells me about the steak and kidney pie she had with boiled potatoes, carrots and a bit of mustard.
She tells me about the curtain tiebacks her friend bought her once in Bristol.
“I’ll bring them in next time,” she says.
I start to tell her I’ve already seen them but then change my mind.
One more time won’t hurt.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

quiff= noun. a woman, esp. woman who is promiscuous