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2012-01-19 | |
As I stood in line at the liquor store, there were two young ladies in front of me. They were dressed in short, tight dresses, with their hair done and made up for a night out. Clubbing, I thought or perhaps a party, as they were buying a bottle of wine.
I am an old man, but I am still breathing and admired them from where I stood without making any comment. They were attractive girls though perhaps not beautiful, around nineteen or twenty years old, I estimated. They completed their purchase and left.
As I laid my bottle of vodka down on the counter, the woman behind me spoke.
I turned to look. She was a woman of perhaps my age, with a shabby, worn look about her. She was dressed in a pair of wrinkled blue slacks that were a size or two small. Her belly rolled over the waist and her blouse, which had blue and white vertical stripes, was missing buttons, threadbare in spots and tattered at the hem. Her hair had that look of having been nested in.
“They’re just asking for it,” she said.
I thought about that for a nanosecond or two and replied.
“Sorry, I don’t understand, asking for what?”
“You know,” she insisted.
“No, sorry I don’t know what you mean.”
I did think of several possible interpretations of her statement, most of which were not flattering to the two women whose figures I had admired a few moments ago.
“They’re begging for it,” she expounded further for my edification. Her face held the smug look of the victor in a debate.
I sighed. “I still have no idea what it is they are asking for,” I said.
“For you know what,” she explained in more detail.”
The woman’s point of view annoyed me. How could she possibly know what the snappily dressed young women thought… wanted? Was she jealous?
My natural reaction was to put the… bitch in her place. Low on the totem I assure you! Sorry, I’m a man.
“Madam,” I said. “If the girls chose to walk down the street naked, I would admire them, but could not possibly imagine that they are asking for… anything.”
She harrumphed. “You’re an idiot,” she replied.
Now, many would agree with her, including close members of my family, but I am not easy to sway. I answered, I confess, in a snarky, holier-than-thou tone.
“Your frumpy dress notwithstanding,” I said, “I think you need a man.”
“You…you…” she faded, unable to call me the ‘son of a bitch’ that I am.
Why, I think, as she stomps away, without her beer, could she imagine that the young girls, dressed to kill, could want more than to be admired?
Well, I’m an old man, and it is possible that I think differently than that old woman or young men.
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