I went to Home Depot to get some primer paint for my new walls and chlorine for the pool, and Kirin insisted she had to go along to get a lock for school. I always enjoy taking Kirin along, as she is kinda bouncy in a nine year old way, and helps make dull trips enjoyable.
Now I had gotten Kirin a new Master Combination Lock, just like the ones we had in school, at the beginning of the school year. I think I still have one, somewhere, that works. 06-36-30 is the combination. I stole that one from my brother Bill in high school around 1964. Or is it the 5-15-23 lock? Well, anyway, they LAST. So I was suspicious that hers was not really malfunctioning. When I asked, she confessed that she wanted a new one just like the COOL ones ALL the girls had except her. Been there. Of course, Kirin has a tad more of a privileged life than I had, and this was not going to be the exception to that. A new Cool lock was clearly in order.
So we did my thing at HD (Home Depot) but they didn't have THE COOL locks, so I took Kirin to Target to get the combination lock. We had to hurry through HD as 9:00 was approaching, so we didn't even do the Kirin riding in the cart like a much younger than 10 years old thing. She'll be 10 on October 9. I noticed yesterday that she had developed a sort of shape to her calves that portends the beginning of a change in how things are to be in life.
So we go to Target and get her lock, and some paper. While we were checking out, Kirin asked the checkout clerk if she had scissors to cut off the blister pack, as she was impatient to play with it and it was wrapped in one of those plastic bubbles that are made to endure any and all attempts to open without industrial strength scissors, so the clerk and Kirin went to the customer service desk to get the lock out of the wrapper, and I stood there waiting at the checkout line.
As I gazed at the Customer Service Desk, into my line of sight comes this blond lady, about 45-50 or so, fit looking, blond hair, piled sort of like she couldn't decide if it was going to be a French braid or just pinned, kind of a scoop neck pink blouse revealing smallish but proportionate breasts and... I digress... walking a bit briskly toward Kirin and the clerk. As she is strutting by, her mobile phone somehow falls to the floor and pops into 3 pieces. Not really at my feet, but in my direction sort of, as if the falling phone had decided that it's best chance of survival lay in being close to me. My immediate impulse is to help pick up the pieces, but she stops right there, bends over and picks up the pieces. About that time I'm wondering about how it is that I didn't RUSH to help, as that is sort of my bent, but I just sort of shrug it off as, well, it's not like there was immediate danger or anything. This was a cell phone, not a hand grenade. And the lady was fairly fit, not in a walker or anything, so she obviously didn't need help to pick up the pieces.
Still... here I am, a single man, missing the opportunity to meet a strange lady. I mean, 20 years ago, I would not have missed this chance. And it's not relevant as to whether or not she was attractive, I still don't recall what she actually looks like. If I were to meet her tomorrow, I'd probably not recognize her. It's sort of the principle of the thing... one takes the open door and seeks to discover the prize within. If the prize is a booby prize (please, the pun is truly unintended), one can simply walk away and be reassured (a subtle, but good feeling) that one is still prepared for whatever contingencies life has to offer. Poised to strike, so to speak. Capable. Ready. MANLY. But I remain rooted to the spot, watching, as the lady picks up the pieces, perfectly competent as she reassembles her phone and walks away, not glancing at me at all, as if I didn't exist, unaware of my inner turmoil, leaving me to my reflections about my self. I notice I am feeling... odd about all this.
Kirin returns with her new Really Cool combination lock and the clerk hits a few buttons and asks me to please enter my pin number for my credit card. My self reflection interrupted by reality, I pay, we pick up the bag with its one combination lock instruction sheet and two packages of college ruled paper and we head for the exit. I can barely feel that bit of disappointment that festers within... that certain feeling that all is not as it should be. Somehow I am not as I should be.
Now this is where fate, in her infinite cycle of fortune, gives me a second chance.