Thursday 23 April 2009

ShopGirls get the Giggles

My cousin, Rosie, is sitting opposite me at the counter.
She often drops in after yoga class and stays a while, or sometimes the whole day.
Mum is packing up a light nearby.
A lady comes in to see the chandelier we’ve made for her house in the Caribbean. She’s accompanied by a tall young man. His skin is lighter than hers; possibly mixed race.
Her eyes well up when she sees her light.
“It’s beautiful,” she says.
Our eyes well up when we see the young man.
Yes, beautiful, we think.
And we assume it’s her partner and inwardly congratulate her.
“We were wondering if we should remove the crystal,” Mum says, “as you’re travelling by plane.”
“Yes, I think that would be better.”
Rosie and I start taking off the crystal.
“You can’t be,” Mum starts, looking at the man. “I don’t want to say this but...”
“My son,” says the woman, smiling.
“Not the same one. The last time you came in here, you were with a little boy.”
“I’m big now,” he says.
Rosie and I giggle behind the chandelier.
“Yes,” the woman says. “It might’ve been him or it might’ve been another son. I have three.”
Three like that?
“Have you seen his guns?” Rosie murmurs.
Yes, I have seen his ‘guns’; the huge muscles in his arms.
The ones in his chest haven’t escaped me either.
I think we’ve all noticed them; even Mum seems a bit distracted.
“Right,” she says, “where will you put the crystal?”
“Hand luggage,” the woman says.
“Ah, now, it’ll come out black on the x-ray so you’ll need to have access to it because they'll want to see what it is.

“Like a load of puff,” says Muscles.
Rosie and I giggle behind the chandelier.
Mum nods her head then suddenly stops and frowns.
“No, I don’t get it,” she says. “Like what?”
“Puff,” he says again
Mum looks confused.
“Oh, you mean...”
She doesn’t quite know if what she knows is quite right.
“I don’t know about that,” she says, finally.
Rosie and I keep our heads down and finish packing up the crystal.
We put it in a bag. The chandelier frame goes in a separate box.
“Now the crystal might be...” Mum begins then pauses to look Muscles up and down. “Nothing is too heavy for you, is it?”
Rosie and I giggle behind the counter.
“It’s not about strength, it’s about balance,” he says.
He laughs and almost falls over a box behind him.
Rosie and I giggle some more.
He takes the bag and the box, one in each arm; his Mum leads the way out.
“Have a good holiday!” we call after them.
“Take care girls,” he says. “Have a good one.”
“Come back any time!” Rosie says.
I gawp at her.
“So much for being shy,” I say.
We don’t quite know what to do with ourselves after they’ve gone.
For a while we’re just three silly shop girls talking about boys.

1 comment:

Piera Lizzeri said...

How charming!!