“Strung Together” by L. K. Thayer

Photo by VC Ferry

Photo by VC Ferry

she comes into the candle shop
a coupla times a week
she’s nice, young, clean
kind of hippy-ish sort of
jeans, t-shirt, trying to sell beads
that she’s strung together.
always sweet, a little
‘out there’ but harmless
always spreads the sample
scented body butter on her hands
to smell good, to feel good.

she came in today, rubbed
the body butter on her hands,
she was wearing a wool hat
baggy clothes
I told her she looked
like a “gangsta chick” just trying
to make conversation.
she looked in slow motion, and
said, “is that what you see?”
she walked trance like around the
shop, and sat down in front of me.

I said, “what are you on?” she
shrugged. I asked, “are you ok?”
she said, “pressure” smiled and
kept staring.

Just then I realized, about 3 months ago
a girl had walked in, dazed, sweat dripping down her forehead,
asking for a cup of water, she was drenched,
asked if she could use the bathroom. she was
dressed in a cute, conservative bright green
polka dot sun dress with pink trim, pink sunglasses,
matching pink sandals and handbag, clean hair, nice
girl, she collapsed in my arms. I was scared, I struggled
with her dead weight to the floor. she lay face
down, she had come undone like a string of pearls in a pool of sweat covering the hard wood.

I was stunned, alone at work with a body at my feet about to call 911, she came too, said she was embarrassed and sorry, I ended up walking her next door to get something to eat at the cafe. I never saw her again.

I asked her, “are you the girl who fainted on the floor?” already knowing it was her, not having recognized her all these weeks later,
she smiled and said, “probably.”

I told her I needed to move my car.

L. K. Thayer

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