On November 5th, I was walking to the strip mall by my apartment. I saw a woman with a stroller and assumed maybe there was a baby on board. As I approached closer, though, I found that there were actually two babies. Two cats, to ensure that we are on the same page here.
Oh my goodness, I saw you and was like "oh, she must be out with her baby" and upon closer look I see you have TWO
She tells me that her cats like walks. I can tell, because when I stopped her to ask for a picture, they started meowing, as if asking their mother why the walking has stopped.
There were two cats in the stroller - one very small tabby, and one very large white cat. It's a marvel that they both fit in that little stroller, but I suppose cats can fit in any space they want.
My mom and I took an Uber from the airport to our apartment. It was a two hour drive. The driver was a 76-year old veteran named Richard. He served in the U.S. military for 40 years and is now working on getting a doctorate in criminal psychology.
He was bizarrely funny. Out of seemingly nowhere, he asked if I had “boyfriends.” Yes, “boyfriends.” Plural. I told him I didn't have any boyfriends, and he said that I “should get out there” and get some, noting a nearby high school. I am a 22-year-old butch lesbian.
Several points in the drive, he would tell me and my mother war stories from his time in the military. He's been all over the world, but considers the very city we're driving through to be his home, familiar with the coolest sights and surrounding area.
At some point in the drive, there was a completely random conversation about drunk men in Germany, immediately followed by a topic change on his only reason to hate Canadians is “because they think they won the War of 1812”
He also confided that he is obsessed with Nicholas Sparks books - he loves them and relates to the emotion in them. He has a wife of 54 years, and he's been dating her since he was 12. There was one point in the drive where he phones his wife and puts her on speaker. He was so happy to check in with her, speak to her, tell her about our conversations. And when he hung up with her, his voice beamed: “That's her.”
Hey, guess where I am right now!
Where are you?
I'm on a drive to Ocala
The driver also asked me if I wanted to travel anywhere. I usually have a hard time answering this question, but I told him I wanted to go to Venice, Italy. I was channeling things my girlfriend had told me about how beautiful Venice was and how badly she wanted to take me there. And I suppose, by osmosis or something else, I now want to go to Venice...
for the past twenty years i have gone to the same dentist. this is the first time i am visiting a new dentist in the location i have moved to, and if the bouncing of my leg wasn't giving it away, let me spell it out here: i am anxious as hell.
an old woman walked in, hair a spotless white. she approached the front desk and introduced herself with a name i thought i'd only ever read in a children's book. the receptionist told her she didn't have an appointment today.
the woman sits down, confused. checking her phone and her calendar.
it turns out she misread the day of her appointment by almost a week. she laughs, a “doh!” tap on her head, looks to the rest of us in the lobby and exclaims that she's made such a silly mistake. we all laugh, and a young man sitting nearby says he made a similar slip just last week. the woman replies, saying it's been happening more and more lately, insisting that it's because a bad covid spell in october affecting “whatever's left of her brain,” and that the source of her blunder was “definitely not her age”. and we all laughed.
what a bright smile she showed… more brilliant than that silver snow hair. maybe these dentists are onto something...
an old man and his dog. ok, maybe not that old. 55 maybe. that's not old.
his dog, a furry moppy mess, greets me with jumps and tail wags. i comment on his good mood, and the man tells me his name is pooper. of course, i exclaimed in shock at such a funny name. turns out i had misheard. it's cooper.
he's a mix between an australian shepherd and a poodle. he's seven months old (and huge) and due for his first haircut. i cant even see his eyes. i ask cooper if he's excited for his first haircut, and he replies by jumping and licking my hand.
i forgot to bring my allegra.
grocery story sushi
There's a woman who works behind the sushi counter at the grocery store near my apartment. I went there for the first sometime in October or November (or sometime before?) to grab lunch while my parents went to a family ministry group for the weekend, and I had been going pretty often since. Once, when I came to buy sushi, she told me amusedly that I seem to come by every Saturday, always ordering the same thing (crunchy shrimp tempura roll with no avocado - sorry). It caught me off guard - I didn't realize it, but I had visited and purchased sushi every weekend while my parents weren't around. It was at this point I purposely made it a habit to stop by.
I think she's adopted me a little. For a month or two, she had me trying "new rolls" instead of my usual because apparently “eating so much fried food is bad for me.” After those couple months, she suddenly asked why I wasn't getting my "favorite" anymore, and I laughed - wasn't it her who told me to eat healthier? She laughed too, saying that I'm still young, and I shouldn't have to worry so much about my health. She would also tease me for stopping by "late" - either a few too many minutes after the usual time, on a Sunday instead of a Saturday, or missing a week altogether. Though, she'd always say in earnest that she was just thinking of me, and wondering how I was doing.
It was only in late February that I had finally mustered up the courage to ask her name. In return, I told her mine. At that point, we would come to know most basic things about each other - where we were from, how long we've lived here, what we like and cherish. She had become my one and only friend here since I've moved.
My dad got a new job in the city that he and my mom would go to every weekend. This was great news, because it meant they'd be able to attend their family ministry program without the long drives. I was happy for them, but I was sad to have to part from my friend. When I found out the news, I told her that I would be leaving soon. She told me that there was a lot for me in the city, and that I would surely make many good friends and have a nice life down there, because I have what she called "a good energy."
On my very last visit, I thanked her for being my friend. She was one of the reasons this move was bearable, the reason I could gather the energy to get out of bed every Saturday. I told her I would miss her, and she told me that she hoped that she would get to see me again one day. That day, she gave me my final "favorite" order free of charge.