Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Better Living Through Science?

"There's this new umbrella," Laura, who works the booth next to ours, says, "it's just this stick but when you turn it on it blows out air at the top and blows all the rain away." She makes a whooshing sound.

"I sort of wonder what the fail-point for those would be, though," I say. "Like, at what point is it raining so hard that it just stops working?"

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Bread

"Can you imagine if a dragonfly and a moth would like, fight?" asks the little boy with the buzzcut and the dinosaurs on his shirt.

"Yeah, but what would a dragonfly and a moth even fight over?" I ask, hoping to steer the conversation in a wholesome direction.

This seems to stump him for a second, in that blank way that kids who are way up in their own heads about things have when their patterns are interrupted and adults treat them like people.

"A piece of bread." he finally says firmly.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Miss-understood

The bachelorette party cutting a swath through the market is mostly well-behaved, but strangely homogenous looking: all of them are incredibly tall, with the same blow-out blonde hair, tight black leggings, tottering around on spike heels, and all of them are wearing the same black tank top with gold metallic lettering that reads, "Pop the bubbly, she's getting a hubby." They're all built about the same, too, like maybe they all dance at the same strip club, and even their faces have similar shaped noses and cheekbones that they, perhaps, purchased from the same plastic surgeon?

They don't seem particularly attractive to me so much as they are sort of remarkable, like I'm looking at what an alien who looked at nothing but Hollywood movies and fashion magazines would create if asked to construct a woman at a bachelorette party, and I want to talk to someone about them, but I'm not sure I'll be understood, so I try to explain what I'm seeing to one of the other vendors who's this dude who sells beard grooming supplies.

"Yeah, they're all like super hot!" he says, his eyes lighting up, and I instantly regret saying anything at all.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Automatons Touching Things

The two Indian women finish their purchase and leave with the usual pleasantries and requests that I convey their compliments to the artist.

After they leave the booth, though, I notice that the booth is a bit disheveled, and I go around tidying things up, only to find that someone, maybe the women who just left, has taken all the business cards and just sort of dumped them into the bowl of buttons we've got on the shelf.

When I mention this to Katie later that evening, she nods knowingly. "Some people just have to touch everything, and they don't even know they're doing it," she says.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Not Making it Weird

Head down, headphones on, making music on my phone, I completely miss my stop - not by a little, but by three stops.

I get off the train with a curse, but after I calm down, I notice an employee at the liquor store I frequent standing on the platform to go back uptown with me.

We exchange pleasantries, both of us friendly enough, but when the train comes and we get on together, I decide to head things off.

"Don't feel you have to make conversation if you want to listen to music or whatever," I say, and with a grateful smile he reaches for his headphones.

Hard Sell

The booth next to ours sells grooming products for beards, and the salespeople who work there seem to accost anyone, sometimes whether they have a beard or not.

Like this family - mother, father, two kids - that the salesman has buttonholed, insisting that he has some grooming product they need, whether for themselves or someone they know.

"Wait, can I buy a beard?" the small daughter asks, all wide-eyed and faux-astonished.

When the salesman grumpily admits that no, she can't actually buy a beard, she nods solemnly and says, "Mmmhmm."

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Be Kind to Yourself

"This one is my sister," she says, referring to the first of Katie's pieces she picked out, "because it's cute and small, like her."

"Now I just have to pick out one for me," she says, but then her eyes get very sad as she holds up a delicate, see-through butterfly called an Invisible Angel.

"This one used to be me, forty kilos ago," she says, tearing up.

"Well, now I think I'm going to have to insist you get it," I reply firmly.