Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Woman With No Voice Returns


Swing shift. The door bell we use to announce the arrival or departure of a customer through the front door sounds. There she is, like a boil on the anus of society. The woman with no voice has made her nightly pilgrimage to my humble shop, the holy Mecca of snack foods and sundries, the corner Plaid Pantry.

She's wearing a new hat today, and unlike the rest of her clothing it's not faded or caked in filth yet. This, unfortunately, fools me into greeting her with my customary and energetic "Goooood evening!" I even smiled! All that effort wasted on a madwoman. She waved an old pepsi (I think) can at me, as if to both say "LOOK AT ME," and "I'm going to turn this in for a nickle," in one deft movement. As she passed by the front counter, cutting off several customers, walking between couples and generally making a nuicance of herself, I heard her attempt to echo the noises she's heard real people make when they practice what they call talking. As usual and as assumed, she enjoyed little success, and the only word I could manage to comprehend was "Matches".

She placed a single can in the recepticle and made an immediate about face and headed back the way she came, barging right through people in a repeat performance of ass-hattery. She held her hand out, and since it's just a pack of matches, I went ahead and gave her one and began to ask for the other five cents a matchbook costs, but she was already near the front door.

As if the attention she had demanded from literally everyone in the shop, (and I assure you, literally everyone in the store was staring at her silently at this point), she picked up a job application, making sure I saw it. She then waved it about, as if to say "I'm taking this and there's nothing you can do about it! HAH!" as well as "LOOK AT ME HOLY FUCK LOOK AT ME", and left... but instead of just leaving, she made and abrupt right turn and set the job application down on top of a news stand, also making sure I saw this.

She looked me dead in the eye, smiled a mischevious smile, and patted the job application.

I nodded, and she walked off into the night.

The application was still on top of the news stand.

Not even ten paces from the store, she made yet another abrupt about face and returned to the news stand to carefully tear off the front of the matchbook, and ritualisticly placed the Plaid Pantry logo emblazoned cover on the application. I couldn't help it by this point. My jaw was hanging and I was staring at her in disbelief and confusion as she walked away one final time.

I turned to the other customers who were, apparently, just as confused as I and in exasperation cried out.


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